According to J. H. Day (1973), New Polychaeta from Beaufort, with a
Key to All Species Recorded from North Carolina, NOAA Technical
Report NMFS CIRC-375: p. 41, Nereis (Neanthes) caudata (delle Chiaje,
1822), type locality Mediterranean, is a (junior) homonym. Day states
that the next available name is Nereis (Neanthes) acuminata Ehlers,
1868, type locality Naples, and that Nereis arenaceodentata Moore,
1903, type locality Massachusetts, is a (junior) synonym. Many
biologists would probably agree that the European and North American
worms do not belong to the same species. That they are different has
not, to my knowledge, been established. What has been established, as
indicated in the research papers cited by Geoff Read, is that North
American east coast and North American west coast taxa referred to N.
arenaceodentata are not the same species.
Nereis caudata was originally described in 1822 as Spio caudatus. This
name was first used by Lamarck, 1818, for the species now known as
Polydora cornuta Bosc, 1802, type locality Charleston, South Carolina.
Hartman, 1959, in her Catalog, Part 2, P. 390, attributed the first use of
S. caudatus to Savigny, but Savigny, 1822, did not use the name.
Florida Marine Research Institute
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