ON II ELI CELL A, FERUSSAC.
By G. K. GuDE, F.Z.S., and B. B. Woodward, F.L.S.
Bead Sth April, 1921.
In January, 1821, Ferussac, in his " Tableau systematique de
la famille des Limayons 'V instituted the subgenus Helicella as the
sixth subgenus of his genus " Helix, MuUer ".
It was an agglomeration of 148 species, which, as the result of the
researches of succeeding malacologists, are now referred to widely
differing genera and even families. This dispersal was effected
piecemeal, at different times, and under varying influences of opinion,
hence there is neither method nor consistency in the conclusions
arrived at by the several writers. Nor can this be Avondered at,
seeing that the necessary literature has, until lately, been but
imperfectly known, and no agreed standard of nomenclature set up.
Now, however, thanks to the untiring efforts of Mr. C. Davies
Sherborn, in connexion with his " Index Animalium ", and
Mr. Tom Iredale (to both of whom we are greatly indebted for much
valuable assistance and advice, which we here gladly acknowledge),
as well as other workers, practically all the needful literature has
been sought out and recorded, hence it has become highly desirable
to scrutinize this composite group afresh, under the guidance of
those International Rules of Zoological Nomenclature, which the
majority of systematic zoologists now follow.^
The results are in some respects startling, and involve the
discarding of some names that have become familiar, and the
changing of others. The writers yield to no possible, or probable
critics thereof in deploring this outcome of their researches ; but if
finality in nomenclature is ever to be obtained and justice done to
the pioneers in malacology, the International Rules must be strictly
Ferussac took the name for his subgenus from the nude vernacular
" Helicelle " of Lamarck,^ and must consequently have the credit
^ Also cited, and by the author himself, as " Prodromus ". Our citations
are all given from the January edition ; the numeration of the pages in the
June edition is exactly four less, owing to the omission of the " Avertissement ".
Both editions are (juoted indiscriminately in Ferussac's later " Histoire ",
and that sometimes on the same page !
-The latest edition of these Rules, extracted from the Proceedings of the
Ninth International Zoological Congress, Monaco, 1913 (T. 0. Smallwood,
Washington, D.C., September, 1916), has here been followed.
^ Extrait du Cours de Zoologie, 1812, p. 115, last line.