Names and nomenclatural problems

Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 2000 (February 1) Names and nomenclatural problems. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Related messages

Blainville or de Blainville?

December 14, 2001
From: Cindy Paden

We are reviewing a manuscript that mentions Bursatella leachii Blainville, 1817. I notice that on your website it is classified as Bursatella leachii de Blainville, 1817. Is either one acceptable? Or is one more commonly used? Thanks for your input.
Cindy Paden
Editorial Assistant
Journal of Natural Products

Paden, C., 2001 (Dec 14) Blainville or de Blainville?. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Cindy,
An interesting question. Unfortunately there is no consistency in the use or misuse of these prefixes. If you are Irish (O'Donoghue etc) or Scottish (McFarland, MacNae etc) there is no problem, but if you are French (de Blainville) or Dutch (van der Spoel) then all sorts of indignities are perpetrated by Anglo-Saxon editors and publishers. The International Code of Zoological Nomenclature recommends (p125) that surnames of authors of scientific names should not be abbreviated. In my opinion the 'de' is an integral part of de Blainville's surname and should be included.

I would be interested in any other comments on this topic
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2001 (Dec 14). Comment on Blainville or de Blainville? by Cindy Paden. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Project on a Sea Slug

February 3, 2001
From: Jesika S.

I'm currently doing a project on sea slugs. The species that I chose to do research on is named Sagaminopteron ornatum. I have to complete a classification such as Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and species on it, and I got every other name except the species name. I wanted to know if you could please give me the information on that. It would be greatly appreciated.
Mahalo nui loa

Jesika, 2001 (Feb 3) Project on a Sea Slug. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Jesika,
You already have the answer. Sagaminopteron ornatum is the species name. The system of naming plants and animals that we use today was first introduced by a Swedish botanist, Carl von Linne, over 200 years ago. One of the basic rules is that a species name must be binomial, that is it is made up of two words. The first word is the genus name, and the second word is called the specific epithet. The second word, in this case ornatum has no status by itself, but when used in combination with the genus name becomes the species name.

The word ornatum has been used many times for different animals so we wouldn't know what we were talking about if we said I am researching 'ornatum'. However the combination Sagaminopteron ornatum can only be used for one species, so no matter where we are in the world that name applies to only one animal.

Good Luck with your project
Bill Rudman.

Rudman, W.B., 2001 (Feb 3). Comment on Project on a Sea Slug by Jesika S.. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Re: The use of the name Bullomorpha

October 31, 2000
From: Juan Lucas Cervera

Hi Bill,
Thank you very much for your useful explanation.

Cervera, J.L., 2000 (Oct 31) Re: The use of the name Bullomorpha. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

The use of the name Bullomorpha

October 26, 2000
From: Juan Lucas Cervera

Dear Bill,
Could someone tell me if the term "Bullomorpha" was first used by Pelseneer in 1906?

After Pelseneer, was Thompson again (1976) the next to use this term?
Thanks for your help.

Cervera, J.L., 2000 (Oct 26) The use of the name Bullomorpha. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Lucas,
Pelseneer introduced the terms Bullomorpha, Aplysiomorpha and Pleurobranchomorpha in 1906.

Unfortunately as names above the Family level are not covered by the International Rules, what names we should use are a bit problematical. I decided to use Pelseneer's names in my work because of the confusion of Cephalaspidea, Anaspidea and Notaspidea with identical names for fossil fish. I think my first published use of Bullomorpha was in 1971, a few years before Tom Thompson. Now that you ask, I am not sure if anyone used the term between me and Pelseneer.

I fully agreed with Thompson's (1976) use of the names Bullomorpha, Aplysiomorpha and Pleurobranchomorpha. The reason I don't still use the names is that in the preparation of Mollusca, The Southern Synthesis, the editors rightly wanted consistency throughout the volumes, some, like me, were using Bullomorpha, and others were using Cephalaspidea. It was agreed that the oldest names - Cephalaspidea etc should be used. So after agreeing to it in the book it would have been silly of me to use my preferred term Bullomorpha elsewhere. So for uniformity, I am now a Cephalaspidea user.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman.

Reference: Rudman, W.B. (1971) Structure and function of the gut in the Bullomorpha (Opisthobranchia). Part 1 Herbivores. Journal of Natural History, 5: 647-675.

Rudman, W.B., 2000 (Oct 26). Comment on The use of the name Bullomorpha by Juan Lucas Cervera. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Date of d'Orbigny's Canary Is work

February 3, 2000
From: Julie Marshall

Dear Bill,

Concerning your earlier message. The confusion in the date for d'Orbigny's work could possibly have arisen because it appeared as part of the following work:

Webb, Philip Barker and Berthelot, S. Histoire naturelle des Iles Canaries. Paris, 1835-44. 3 volumes & Atlas

Volume 2, part 2 of this work (published 1836-44) was the Zoologie part. It consisted of 5 sections and d'Orbigny's Mollusques... was section 5. According to the Catalogue of the Library of the British Museum of Natural History the Mollusques section had 152 pages and 14 plates. An entry in the US National Union Catalog has the publishing date of the Mollusques section as 1839?.

The work by Webb & Berthelot was originally issued in 106 fortnightly parts!

Of course all this does not solve the 1834 reference as Webb's work first appeared in 1835 unless the fortnightly parts appeared earlier.

Best wishes

Julie Marshall

Marshall, J., 2000 (Feb 3) Date of d'Orbigny's Canary Is work. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Julie,
Thanks for the details. It looks like Lemche's date may have been an error which has not been noticed previously. If anyone else has comments they would be very welcome.
Bill Rudman.

The date of d'Orbigny's Canary Is work

February 1, 2000
From: Bill Rudman

While in New Zealand, Michael Miller (M.C.Miller not M.D.Miller) asked about the date of the first use of Aeolidiidae.

In Lemche's submission (1964) to the International Commission he dates a work by d'Orbigny on Canary Islands marine life as 1834 and states that this is the earliest use of the family name Aeolidiidae. However the work he quotes seems to have been published in 1839. Can anyone help with this?
Bill Rudman.

•Lemche, H. (1964) Aeolidia Cuvier, 1797 (Gastropoda): Proposed addition to the Official List. Z.N.(S) 1097. Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature, 21(2): 116-117.

•ICZN OPINION 779 July 1966. Aeolidia Cuvier, 1797 (Gastropoda): placed on the official list of generic names. Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature, 23: 100-101.

•d'Orbigny, A. (1839?) Mollusques, echinodermes, foraminiferes et polypiers, recueillis aux Iles Canaries par Mm. Webb et Berthelot et descrits par Alcide D'Orbigny. Mollusques 1.2(2): 1-117, pls 1-76.