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[Annelida] Alitta (=Neanthes) - No, no no !

Alexander Muir via annelida%40net.bio.net (by a.muir from nhm.ac.uk)
Thu Nov 10 05:20:38 EST 2011

Which journal? Should the editor be contacted?

Alex Muir

Mr. A.I. Muir, Nematode and Polychaete Research Group, Department of
Zoology, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington,
Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 5567     Fax: +44 (0)20 7942 5054
-----Original Message-----
From: annelida-bounces from oat.bio.indiana.edu
[mailto:annelida-bounces from oat.bio.indiana.edu] On Behalf Of Geoff Read
Sent: 09 November 2011 22:50
To: annelida from net.bio.net
Subject: [Annelida] Alitta (=Neanthes) - No, no no !

Hi there,

A recent paper in an important publication had the formulation " Alitta
(=Neanthes) succinea" in the first lines of the abstract and
introduction, and even in the running title!

No, no no!  That is just silly. It offends my eye, and it will confuse
the biologist public, and I dare say, informatics data algorithms will
get it wrong when parsing the name. 

What was really meant was " Alitta succinea [formerly Neanthes succinea]
"  Of course it was also formerly several other combinations, starting
with Nereis. But we progress.

Too late now, but since how to handle this situation is still not clear
to a few I raise the matter here again.  It's quite straightforward. WE
DO NOT PUT COMMENTS INTO SPECIES NAMES.  A name with first letter in
upper case that is interpolated in parenthesis  between genus and
species is solely for the intermediate category, subgenus.  But Neanthes
will never be a subgenus of Alitta. Likewise Neanthes and Alitta are not
equivalent so why the equals sign? The formulation Alitta (=Neanthes)
succinea is thus nonsensical.

How to formulate correctly is covered by Recommendation 6A of the
current ICZN code.


" Recommendation 6A. Undesirable interpolation of certain genus-group
names in binomina or trinomina. No genus-group name other than a valid
subgeneric name should be interpolated between a generic name and a
specific name, even in square brackets or parentheses. An author who
desires to refer to a former generic combination should do so in some
explicit form such as "Branchiostoma lanceolatum [formerly in



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