Parasitology, Harold W. Manter Laboratory of


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Published in Acta Parasitologica (2009) 54(1): 78-84. Copyright 2009, Witold Stefański Institute of Parasitology, Polish Academy of Sciences. Used by permission.


The family-group name for the “fish blood flukes” is unstable, with both “Aporocotylidae Odhner, 1912” and “Sanguinicolidae von Graff, 1907” in use for the single family. Although “Sanguinicolidae von Graff, 1907” (or “Graff, 1907”) has been a widely-accepted family-group name for the fish blood flukes subsequent to Yamaguti'’s 1954 and 1958 synoptical publications (“Systema Helminthum”), a critical examination of the relevant literature, much of it published in German during 1900 through 1926, reveals that “Aporocotylidae Odhner, 1912” is the earliest available family-group name for these flukes. The name Aporocotylidae, moreover, was in wide usage by alpha taxonomists before 1954 and by several authors between 1954 and the present time. We speculate that the recent long-standing uncertainty about the earliest available family-group name primarily stems from the (1) logistics of Ludwig von Graff’s tome published in 1904-–1908, (2) bibliographic confusion between that work and another Graff work published in 1907 (both of which treat Sanguinicola but not Aporocotyle), (3) initial ambiguity regarding the phylogenetic relatedness of the first four aporocotylid species that were named, (4) lack of consensus on the status of Aporocotylidae and Sanguinicolidae and the genera included within them, and (5) misleading application of “Graff, 1907” to Sanguinicolidae by Poche in 1926, Fuhrmann in 1928, Yamaguti in 1954 and 1958, and subsequent review articles that treated fish blood flukes. Under the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN, Article 8.3), “Sanguinicolidae” was not made available by Graff because he disclaimed the name in the same, and only, work wherein he used the name (ICZN, Article 8.3). Sanguinicolidae was first made available in 1926 by Poche, who referenced Graff’s 1907 work. Hence, “Poche, 1926” comprises the correct authority and date for that family-group name, not “von Graff, 1907” or “Graff, 1907”. Since we presently accept only a single family for all fish blood flukes and abide by the Principal of Priority (ICZN, Article 23), we herein regard Sanguinicolidae Poche, 1926 as a junior subjective synonym of Aporocotylidae Odhner, 1912.

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