Re: spelling of Haminoea

November 24, 1998
From: Bill Rudman

Here is a copy of my submission to the ICZN in support of Richard Willan's comments. To those who are unfamiliar with such things, scientific names are governed by International Rules which, in the case of animals, are overseen by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature.

At times a situation arises which cannot be resolved by a simple application of the International Rules. In such cases a submission must be made to the International Commission who have the power to resolve the issue, either by interpreting the Rules or in special cases, over-riding the Rules.

The spelling of Haminoea is such an instance. In 1987, Gianuzzi-Savelli asked the Commission to affirm the spelling Haminoea because the spelling amongst European authors was inconsistent. In 1990 Gianuzzi-Savelli & Gentry, reapplied to the Commission this time asking that the spelling Haminaea be accepted as valid. Since then the Commission unhappily have not considered the matter and have not published comments they have received opposing the suggested Haminaea spelling. This has caused some authors to use the spelling Haminaea in the mistaken belief it has the Commission's "seal of approval". Dr Tubbs from the Commission is now suggesting that this recent misuse of Haminaea could be grounds for validating this spelling!

Dr P. Tubbs
International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature
c/o The Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road
London SW7 5BD

Re: Case 2588: (Haminoea Turton in Turton & Kingston, 1830, Haminaea
Leach, 1847, Haminea Gray, 1847)

Dear Dr Tubbs,
I was quite surprised to receive an email from Dr Willan today concerning this matter, which I had mistakenly thought resolved many years ago.

Most workers outside Europe have always accepted the case as outlined in Gianuzzi-Savelli's 1987 submission.

It would be regrettable if through the inaction of the ICZN, his revised submission (Gianuzzi-Savelli & Gentry, 1990), is allowed to give credence to the spelling Haminaea, which has never been used outside Europe and has only begun to have popularity in Europe since 1990, clearly because authors have considered the 1990 submission, unanswered by the Commission, to have some status.

The spelling Haminoea is the earliest valid name. To change this by validating invalid publications would lead to confusion and overturning of a spelling and usage used in all parts of the world other than Europe.

In fact it is the only spelling that has ever been used in Australia, New Zealand, Japan and North America.. except for a recent publication (Gibson & Chia, 1995) where Haminaea is used under the mistaken belief that Giannuzzi-Savelli & Gentry, 1990 conferred authority on that spelling.

As Willan points out, the original spelling Haminoea has been accepted by a majority of the commissioners and as Dr Bouchet notes, four related genus-group names end in the termination -haminoea (e.g. Lamprohaminoea).

The Gianuzzi-Savelli & Gentry (1990) case requires the normal Rules to be suspended, publications not considered valid under the Rules to be validated and usage (up until the date of the submission) to be ignored and overturned. This is not even a case of the pedantry which brings the Rules into disrepute amongst practising biologists, for the submission calls for the Rules to be ignored.

I urge the Commission to rule in favour of the Gianuzzi-Savelli (1987) and against the Gianuzzi-Savelli & Gentry (1990) submission. It is also vital that the correspondence concerning this matter which has been received by the Commission be published.

I list below the Gibson & Chia reference.

Gibson, G.D. & Chia, F-S., 1995. Developmental variability in the poecilogonous opisthobranch Haminaea callidegenita: life history traits and effects of environmental parameters. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 121: 139-155.

Yours sincerely,

Dr W.B.Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 1998 (Nov 24). Comment on Re: spelling of Haminoea by Bill Rudman. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from



Related messages

  1. Haminoea or Haminaea
    From: Juan Lucas Cervera, September 29, 2000
  2. Use Haminoea!
    From: Dr P.Tubbs, November 26, 1998
  3. Spelling of Haminoea
    From: Dr P.Tubbs, November 25, 1998
  4. The spelling of Haminoea
    From: Richard Willan, November 23, 1998

Show factsheet and all related messages