A family's good name in jeopardy (homonymy)
Torleif.Holthe at vm.ntnu.no
Wed Jun 27 16:57:35 EST 2001
Yesterday one of our technicians came to me and asked if a worm and a fish
family could share the same name.
The name in question was Polyodontidae, which he had found both in the
collections as scale-worms and in my Norwegian text-book on systematic
zoology as paddlefishes.
I answered that this was a case of homonymy, and suggested that the stems
of the nominate genera might be identical or that one of the family names
might be incorrectly formed. I mentioned the case of Nephtys and Nephtya.
A quick search on the net gave a veritable stew of fish and worms and the
nominate genera as Polyodon and Polyodontes respectively.
Kirkegaard (1992, Danmarks fauna) gives Buchanan, 1894 as auctor of
the polychaete family, whereas Hartman (1959, catalogue) gives
I contacted my friend, the ichthyologist Per Pethon at the Zoological
Museum, University of Oslo who replied:
Paddlefishes, Polyodontidae A. Günther,. 1870 (Catalogue of the Fishes in
the British Museum VIII,p.346.)
I shall leave any further action on this homonymy to specialists on
nomenclature or scale-worms.
Looking forward to meeting many of you in Reykjavik next week
<Torleif.Holthe at vm.ntnu.no>
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