Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 149 COMMENT ON THE PROPOSED SUPPRESSION OF THREE NOMINA OBLITA IN THE FAMILY BELONIDAE (PISCES). Z.N.(S.) 1723 (see volume 22, pages 325-329) By G. F. Mees (Rijksmuseum van Natuurlijke Historie, Leiden, The Netherlands) In my revisions of the family Belonidae (Mees 1962, 1964), it was demonstrated that several species of this group are far wider ranging than was previously known. One of the results of this was a great simplification in nomenclature: species which previously, in different parts of their range, had been known by different specific names, and some-times even as different genera, retained one name throughout their ranges. In actual figures, the family Belonidae was reduced from a lowest estimate of some sixty species (for which twenty generic names were available) to twenty-four species, divided over two genera. Over thirty specific names were placed in synonymy for the first time. With such a drastic reduction of species, inevitably many changes in nomenclature were necessary. Sometimes a single species had been known by five and more names in different parts of its range, each name being well-established and " in general use " in a certain region. Basing myself on the principles of priority and clarity of description (some names date from 150 and more years ago, a time when few species of Belonidae were known and the importance of certain characters was not yet realized), I have used the names that on this basis appeared to be the best ones. As each of these old names has a different history, I had to make a separate decision for each name and species, and though I have tried to be consistent, subjectivity could not altogether be avoided : a name rejected by another worker as unidentifiable might be acceptable to me, or vice versa, but I have in each instance clearly stated my reasons for accepting one name and rejecting as unidentifiable another. Collette & Berry (1965, 1966) disagree with many of my decisions, and have proposed suppression of three specific names I have used. Their proposals are largely based on Art. 23b of the Code, which at present it is proposed to suspend as it was found to be unworkable (cf. Smith, 1964; Robins, 1965). I shall discuss these names and two others which have been accepted by Collette & Berry, though they had been rejected by me. As Collette & Berry have presented very ably one side of the picture, I shall try to present the other point of view, so that the Commission can consider both! and make its decisions accordingly. Esox imperialis Rafinesque, 1810 This name was accepted by me as Belone imperialis (Rafinesque), as it was based on a Belone species in the Mediterranean which was described as much larger and rarer than the common Belone bellone. There are some discrepancies in the description (the number of finrays in D and A as given is too high), but as only two species of Belone were known from the Mediterranean, and the species under discussion reaches a length of over 1 -50 m, it appeared recognizable*. Collette & Berry have since mentioned the occurrence oi Belone marisrubri in the Mediterranean, which would invalidate one of my arguments. Unfortunately they do not give any particulars about this interesting record. Belone marisrubri was not recorded for the Mediterranean by Tortonese (1964), and as the species is very common in the Red Sea one might assume that it has recently reached the Mediterranean through * Collette & Berry (1966: 327) came with the amazing statement that: "... a large propor-tion of the museum specimens of Belone belone [recte: Belone bellone] and Tylosurus acus that we have examined have been misidentified, so we see no reason to assume that Rafinesque necessarily distinguished between them". Rafinesque (1810), as well as Mongitore (1743) and Cirino (1653), to whom Rafinesque referred, made quite clear that they knew the ordinary aelone bellone, and distmguished a second much larger species from it. Full quotations of the ^nlo^"/«P??^¥^^.^'" ^^^^^ somewhat scarce publications can be found in my revisions (Mees, 1962: 40-41, 1964: 319-320). One wonders if Collette & Berry found so many specimens in collections apparently misidentified because they did not realize that many specimens of Belone bellone in collections are labelled as Belone acus Risso, not acus (La Cepede). Bull. zool. NoinencL, Vol. 23, Part 4. October 1966.