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Published: 2021-06-03

Herpetological higher taxa nomina. 6. Gymnophiona Rafinesque, 1814

Institut de Systématique, Évolution, Biodiversité, ISYEB—UMR 7205—CNRS, MNHN, UPMC, EPHE, Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, Sorbonne Universités, 57 rue Cuvier, CP 30, 75005, Paris, France
Association RACINE, 5 allée des Cygnes, 35750 Saint Maugan, France
Availability authorship allocation priority validity hoplonym anoplonym eikomorph distagmomorph distagmonym sozomorph sozodiaphonym nothosozonym ectomorph ectonym caecilians Amphibia Apoda Apodacea Apodes Apodi Apodia Apodida Apodif


A taxon, traditionally referred to the rank order, encompassing all recent taxa of caecilians and their close fossil relatives, is highly supported as holophyletic in all recent cladistic analyses of Amphibia. Under the Duplostensional Nomenclatural System, among 12 nomina available in the literature, only one, Gymnophiona Rafinesque, 1814, qualifies as a sozodiaphonym and should be used for this amphibian taxon. We show here that the authorship of this nomen, as well as of 32 other nomina published in 1814, is ‘Rafinesque’, not ‘Rafinesque-Schmaltz’.

            The nomen Apoda Oppel, 1811, that has often been used for this taxon, proves to be a distagmonym and a junior homonym of Apodes Linnaeus, 1758 and five other distagmonyms, and as such it is invalid under DONS.

            In total, we identified 34 distinct class-series nomina derived from the stems ἄπους (apous) or Apus in 13 distinct zoological groups, only two of which are valid under DONS Criteria: Apodiformia Wetmore, 1947, for the suborder of Aves currently known as Apodi Wetmore, 1947, and Apodomorpha Sibley, Ahlquist & Monroe, 1988 for the order of Aves currently known as Apodiformes Peters, 1940.

                Several other nomenclatural findings were made in the course of this study: [1] in the Teleostei, the nomina "Eupercaria" and "Syngnatharia", like all the other new nomina proposed in the paper by Betancur-R. et al. (2017) are anoplonyms and cannot be used as valid; [2] in the Mammalia, the nomina Cetus and Cetacea should be credited to Brisson (1759); [3] in the Holothuroidea, the nomen Apoda Claus, 1868, currently considered valid under the apograph Apodida, is invalid and should be replaced by the nomen Paractinopoda Ludwig, 1891; [4] in the Isopoda, the subordinal nomen Cymothoida Wägele, 1989 should be replaced by its senior synonym Darwinida Lakshminarayana & Rama Rao, 1977.


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