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Systematic Discussion

The genus Tubulanus Renier, 1804 has had a confusing nomenclatural history. Renier (1804), in an unpublished work, erected the name Tubulanus polymorphus for a new species of nemertean. In 1833 Johnston named a new species, Carinella trilineata, which subsequently was determined to be a junior synonym of a species named Gordius annulatus by Montagu (1804). The latter clearly was wrongly assigned to the genus Gordius Linnè, 1758, and was referred to Tubulanus by Joubin (1890). In the meantime and subsequently, Carinella and Tubulanus were both used for additional species. Melville (1986), on behalf of the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN), proposed reinstating Tubulanus as the valid genus name, based on the work of Renier’s 1804 Prospetto della Classe dei Vermi, but with the mistaken argument that Carinella trilineata is a synonym of Tubulanus polymorphus (rather than T. annulatus). Nevertheless, this does not compromise the subsequent opinion of the ICZN (1988) that Tubulanus Renier, 1804, is validly published and available, with T. polymorphus Renier, 1804, the type species. The ICZN also followed Melville (1986) in its opinion that the family name Tubulanidae proposed by Bürger (1897-1907) takes precedence over but the date of Carinellidae, its senior subjective synonym, and should be cited as Tubulanidae Bürger 1905 (1874), 1905 being when the relevant part of Bürger’s (1897-1907) treatise was published. However, the name already appears in Bürger (1904); hence, Tubulanidae Bürger 1904 (1874) is the correct citation. There are approximately 33 species of Tubulanus currently accepted as valid. Many of the descriptions of these taxa are brief and based on poorly preserved material, and some on single, immature specimens. Many lack either external or internal character information for interspecific comparison. In consequence of such missing character data, Sundberg & Hylbom (1994) excluded 16 of 30 Tubulanus taxa from their phylogenetic analysis of the subclass Palaeonemertea. Based on that analysis, they favored a paraphyletic view of the genus but made no relevant nomenclatural recommendations.

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© Ritger, Rebecca

Source: Nemertea

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