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[Annelida] the status of Fabricia oregonica

Hove, Harry ten via annelida%40net.bio.net (by H.A.tenHove from uva.nl)
Thu Mar 25 17:30:10 EST 2010

Dear polychaete lovers,

Kirk faces a Solomonic choice. Of course I don't have experience with sabellids, but can extrapolate from their sisters, the serpulids. I know of several similar situations in serpulids, the most evident being that of a group of Vermiliopsis?, of which Zibrowius and I know since the early 1970ties that they do not conform to the diagnosis of the genus, nevertheless still are mentioned as Vermiliopsis? (see ten Hove & Kupriyanova 2009: 102). On retrospection, I still deplore that I did not make a decision in 1975 to spend a few more months on Vermiliopsis sensu lato, and not only assign a number of clearly aberrant "Vermiliopsis" to the genera Pseudovermilia and Semivermilia, but find one (or two) slots for those undecided Vermiliopsis? as well. 

Another example is that of Protula soofita, where the uncini alone already clearly contradict its attribution to Protula, nevertheless neither Ben-Eliahu nor me found the time to do something about this unsatisfactory situation yet. 

In short, nowadays I would rather choose for a more splitting approach for such "aberrant" types to indicate clearly that they are different, than for the lumping and in this case camouflaging/masking use of an existing generic name for such outliers.

Hope this will be of help.   

Harry A. ten Hove
Zoologisch Museum Amsterdam
POB 947666
1090 GT Amsterdam

-----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
Van: annelida-bounces from oat.bio.indiana.edu namens J. Kirk Fitzhugh
Verzonden: do 25-3-2010 2:24
Aan: annelida from magpie.bio.indiana.edu
Onderwerp: [Annelida] the status of Fabricia oregonica

I wanted to ask for opinions on a basic nomenclatural/systematics 
decision that I have to make. I'm finishing descriptions of recently 
collected individuals of /Fabricia oregonica/ Banse, 1956. The original 
material is in extremely poor condition, which precluded me from earlier 
adding to Banse's description. Plus, the only well described species in 
/Fabricia/ up to this point is /F. stellaris/. With these new specimens 
belonging to /F. oregonica/, I've looked at phylogenetic relationships, 
and /F. oregonica/ is not a sister taxon to /F. stellaris/.

So, I have two choices. (1) Place /F. oregonica/ in a yet another new, 
monotypic genus. (2) Leave the species in /Fabricia/, and just 
acknowledge that the genus can't be unambiguously defined.

Any thoughts? Opinions?


J. Kirk Fitzhugh, Ph.D.
Curator of Polychaetes
Invertebrate Zoology Section
Research & Collections Branch
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
900 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles CA 90007
Phone: 213-763-3233
FAX: 213-746-2999
e-mail: kfitzhug from nhm.org

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