Using This Nomenclator

[ page update: 2017-I-10  // 2021-VII-13; 2021-XI-13,14;2023-I-12; mjw ]

The Introduction to this Second Edition of Nomenclatura Oligochaetologica provides a summary of the information associated with accounts of taxa accessed via the Nomenclator GenerumNomenclator Subgenerum, and Nomenclator Specierum. The Prolegomenon, presented in six languages in the original N.O. (Reynolds and Cook, 1976: pp. 1-46), included a section entitled, “How to use Nomenclatura Oligochaetologica.”

Below, we present an updated version of that information, modified to assist users of this web-based second edition. Please be sure to read the text near the bottom of this page, under the subheading “Information unique to accounts added to this second edition, including updated information to accounts previously included in the original N.O. series” which explains additional information unique to newly added accounts.

When a publishable format [for the original N.O. series] was decided upon, the authors attempted to employ a system that would stand up against the test of time.  For this reason all systematic or evolutionary systems are discarded in favor of the alphabetical format.  The authors hope to publish supplements every 5–10 years after the original volume to make corrections or additions to the original entries and to include any omitted species, and to add the species described in the interim.

In the Nomenclator Generum, the names of the genera used for the Oligochaeta, and variations on their spellings found in the literature, are presented alphabetically.  Using the entry for the genus, Adelodrilus to examine the format, one finds,

          Adelodrilus Cook, 1969; Biol. Bull. 136(1): 13; Type: Aanisosetosus Cook, 1969.

The genus Adelodrilus was described by David Cook in 1969 in The Biological Bulletin, volume 136, number 1, on page 13. He selected Adelodrilus anisosetosus as the type for the genus Adelodrilus. The explanations for the author and literature abbreviations are found in Appendices I [Index Auctorum] and II [Index Auctoritatum], respectively.

We will continue with the same example to illustrate the format of the type species for the genus Adelodrilus, as listed in the  Nomenclator Specierum,

          anisosetosusAdelodrilus Cook, 1969; Biol. Bull. 136(1): 13; USNM 38251-2.

The species Aanisosetosus was described by David Cook in 1969 in The Biological Bulletin, volume 136, number 1, on page 13.  The types are deposited in the United States National Museum with catalogue number 38251 as the holotype and catalogue number 38252 as the paratypes.  The explanation of the author, literature, and museum abbreviations are found in Appendices I [Index Auctorum], II [Index Auctoritatum] and III [Index Museorum], respectively.

The species and lower taxa are listed in the Nomenclator Specierum alphabetically under the original binomen or polynomen. The author given always refers to the lowest taxonomic level. For example, in the following cases,

          penetralis var. Pheretima campanulata Gates, 1931.

The variety Pheretima campanulata var. penetralis was described by Gates in 1931.  If one checks under the species campanulata, the following entry can be found, campanulataPerichaeta Rosa, 1890.

So the species today known as Pheretima or Metaphire campanulata was originally described by Rosa in the genus Perichaeta.  This entry also doubles for the subspecies or variety Pcampanulata campanulata Rosa, 1890 or Pcampanulata var. typica Rosa, 1890.  The authors [JWR and DGC] believe that it is unnecessary to include the author of the original species as it is found elsewhere in the text.  It is also felt that the nominate subspecies designation is understood.  Inclusion of these two pieces of information in the text would only increase its size without adding any new information.

If a given name is used for taxa below the species level the entries are in the following order: forma (f.), mutant (m.), race (r.), subspecies (ss.) and variety (var.). The preceding order was used to maintain the alphabetical format and indicates no taxonomic priority in the status of any of these taxa.  According to the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, the species-group includes only the specific and subspecific categories (Article 45(a).  To be complete and to avoid any problems in the future all these other infrasubspecific taxa are included.  For example, in the future one might suggest that a form, variety or race of a given species is to be raised to full specific status.  In this case, it might be wise to maintain the same name for the species, if it is available, in order to avoid any confusion in the already complex nomenclatural history of the Oligochaeta.  For this same reason, it might be wise to avoid any name for a new species in a genus or closely related genus where the same name is already employed for an infrasubspecific taxon in the event that they may at some time be congeneric.

Also in the Nomenclator Specierum, one will encounter entries such as the following,

          aberratusAnteus Mich.. 1900; ThamnodrilusRhinodrilus; Arch. Naturg. 66(1): 263; ZMUH 8507.

The species Anteus aberratus was described by Michaelsen in 1900.  Since the original description, Michaelsen and/or other investigators have placed this species, at one time, in Thamnodrilus and Rhinodrilus.  In some cases, it is possible that the species is now back in the genus in which it was originally described.  It is not the purpose of this text to make taxonomic judgments.  We have avoided, indicating where a species might be placed today as each investigator may have a different opinion on current generic placement.  We have abandoned the alphabetical listing for the subsequent generic placements in favour of chronological listing.  For example, Anteus aberratus was removed from Anteus and placed in Thanmodrilus before being placed in Rhinodrilus.  It is possible in some cases that a species may have been returned to the original genus between second and third generic placements, e.g., Anteus aberratus to Thamnodrilus to Anteus again and then to Rhinodrilus.  Our aim is to show only in which genera a species has been placed.

In the case of multiple type listings, the first entry represents the holotype, if one was designated, and the remainder the type series.  For example, in the case of

          ablata var. Pheretima sedgwicki Ude, 1905; Z. Wiss. Zool. 83: 405; MNHU 3063, 3061, 3065.

The specimen 3063 is the holotype and 3061 and 3065 are paratypes in the Museum für Naturkunde der Humboldt Universität in Berlin.

If two or more Museums are mentioned in any entry, the holotype or major type series is to be found in the first institution listed.

It is the authors’ experience that specimens archived in most museum and private collections are available on loan to specialists for their taxonomic studies. Since most museums do not have an oligochaetologist on staff, we believe that the inclusion of the catalogue numbers after the museum code will be of great help to the museum staff in processing an investigator’s request.

During the data gathering for the original Nomenclatura Oligochaetologica series, it was learned that one major collection did not send out its types on loan – specimens in the private collection of Dr. Sergěj Hrabě of Brno [Czechoslovakia at that time, now the Czech Republic] were available for specialists to examine but in most cases the investigator had to travel to Brno to examine the specimens. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, all other collections do send type specimens for examination via registered mail and/or commercial delivery services (e.g, FedEx, UPS, DHL, DB Schenker, Royal Mail, USPS, and several others globally).

There are several notations following some of the generic and species entries. The use of Typus non designatus means that the author, and possibly the first revisor, did not designate the type. In the case of Typus in auctoris collectione or Typus-auctoris collectio, the author is usually not connected with a major institution and/or has too few types to require a special code in Appendix III [Index Museorum].  Two phrases regularly encountered are Typus amissus and Typus perditus. The former indicates the type is currently missing; one was designated and catalogued but cannot be located now, though it still may exist somewhere. The latter is used when we have been informed by the author or museum curator that the type has been destroyed and/or discarded.  Some institutional codes are not followed by a number, e.g.,

          argentatusMesenchytraeus Nurm., 1970; Ann. Zool. Fenn. 10: 405; HUZM.

The Zoological Museum at Helsinki University does not have catalogue numbers for its types. If no type is mentioned, e.g.

          acanthinurusThamnodrilus Cogn., 1904; Boll. Mus. Torino 19(474): 10.

We have no information regarding the type’s present location or any information indicating that the type is missing or has been destroyed.

The first volume of Nomenclatura Oligochaetologica [N.O.] contained 573 entries in the Nomenclator Generum and 5753 entries in the Nomenclator Specierum. The first supplement (N.O.S.P. – Reynolds and Cook, 1981) added 47 genera and 401 species. The second supplement (N.O.S.S. – Reynolds and Cook, 1989) added 73 genera, 34 subgenera, and 694 species.  The third supplement (N.O.S.T. – Reynolds and Cook, 1993) added 46 genera, 6 subgenera, and 406 species.

It was the firm belief of Reynolds and Cook [when they published the original N.O. in 1976] that no matter how long or diligent their search, this project could never be complete. With that in mind, they presented the first volume of Nomenclatura Oligochaetologica, asking their colleagues, and [curators, collections managers, and other personnel associated with] institutions housing oligochaete types, to inform them of any errors and omissions.  It was the authors’ plan to produce supplements every 5–10 years to update the N.O. (1976) volume and to correct errors and omissions.

Information unique to accounts added to this second edition, including updated information to accounts previously included in the original N.O. series. 

In 1995 (after the retirement of David Cook) Reynolds invited Wetzel to assist him in the compilation of a fourth supplement [Nomenclatura Oligochaetologica Supplementum Quartum] to this series.  We (J.W.R. and M.J.W.) maintained a relatively current listing of accounts for new taxa during the years since 1993, but numerous work responsibilities and other research projects resulted in postponements in the completion of the fourth supplement.  In early 2012, we made the decision to forgo completion of a fourth supplement, instead redirecting efforts to compile a web-based second edition of this nomenclator.

In this Second Edition, we have integrated the accounts included in N.O. with those presented in the three supplements, corrected corrigenda in N.O. and the three supplements, updated accounts and their associated information, and added accounts for new taxa described since the publication of N.O.S.T. in 1993.  We have expanded and updated the Index AuctorumIndex AuctoritatumIndex Museorum, Glossarium, and References sections of the original N.O. series.  The information presented on the resource pages linked from the left and top navigator bars has been expanded from that presented in the original N.O. series, and restructured for easy access using this web-based format.

Recent additions to the generic, subgeneric, and species accounts (and citations for recent publications included on the Literature Cited page of this N.O.2 website) may include digital object identifiers (DOI, doi) – a string of characters (letters and numbers) that are used to uniquely identify objects. A DOI associated with accounts for taxa on this website is a link to the publication in which a taxon’s description has been presented. Additional information defining DOIs can be found HERE and by searching the internet using your preferred browser.

Accounts may also include links to:

GenBank – GenBank is the genetic sequence database established and maintained by the National Institute of Health (National Library of Medicine / National Center for Biotechnology Information) – an annotated collection of publicly available DNA sequences.

ZooBank – the official registry of Zoological Nomenclature – which provides a means to register new nomenclatural acts, published works, and authors.  As an example, see the account for puccoon, Sylphella Rodriguez, Fend & Lenat, 2014 (listed herein, via Nomenclator Speciarum).

European Nucleotide Archive [ENA], which provides a comprehensive record of the world’s nucleotide sequencing information – covering raw sequencing data, sequence assembly information and functional annotation.  The ENA is developed and maintained at the EMBL-EBI under the guidance of the INSDC International Advisory Committee and a Scientific Advisory Board.  As an example, see the link from the account for ryutekiAstacopsidrilus Martin & Ohtaka 2008 (listed herein, via Nomenclator Speciarum).