2015. 23 (2)



Mironov, S.V.

About author:

Mironov, S.V., Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Saint Petersburg, 199034, Russia


The original description of the feather mite Pterolichus digamus Mégnin et Trouessart, 1884 (Pterolichidae) from the Eurasian coot Fulica atra Linnaeus (Gruiformes: Rallidae) was based on two different species. When this matter was found, Trouessart (1885) ignored the name Pterolichus digamus and proposed new names for these two species: Pterolichus fulicae Trouessart, 1885 and Pterolichus proctogamus Trouessart, 1885, — currently Grallobia fulicae (Trouessart, 1885) and Grallolichus proctogamus (Trouessart, 1885), respectively. This taxonomic action was accepted by all subsequent investigators of feather mites, despite the existence of the senior name P. digamus, which can render either P. fulicae or P. proctogamus a junior
synonym, and hence invalid. Therefore, to maintain the stability of zoological nomenclature is necessary to treat the senior name, P. digamus, as a nomen oblitum. This action would require satisfying the conditions of two articles of the ICZN Code. One of them is met: a senior synonym has not been used as a valid name after 1899 (Article; but because the junior synonyms have not been mentioned in a sufficient number of works (Article, the second condition can not be met. Under these circumstances (Article 23.9.3) we will apply to the Commission for a ruling under the plenary power to maintain the current use of the junior synonyms and suppress the older name P. digamus. The junior synonyms, Pterolichus fulicae Trouessart, 1885 and
Pterolichus proctogamus Trouessart, 1885, will be treated as valid names (nomina protecta) and the name Pterolichus digamus Mégnin et Trouessart, 1884 as a nomen oblitum.


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