246 Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 44(4) December 1987 Case 2131 Asterias squamata Delle Chiaje, 1828 (currently Amphipholis squamata; Echinodermata, Ophiuroidea): proposed conservation of the specific name AilsaM. Clark Formerly of the British Museum (Natural History), Cromwell Road, London, SW75BD, U.K. Abstract. The purpose of this appHcation is the conservation of the specific name squamata Delle Chiaje, 1828, of a littoral brittlestar, by the suppression of its unused senior synonym Ophiura elegans Leach, 1815. 1 . I have pointed out (Clark, 1 970, pp. 30-3 1 ) that it is likely that the species from a rocky shore in south Devon described by Leach in 1815 (p. 59) as Ophiura elegans is conspecific with the cosmopolitan littoral ophiuroid generally known since about 1900 as Amphipholis squamata (Delle Chiaje, 1828 (p. 77)). The specific name squamata was used by the important nineteenth century specialists Miiller & Troschel ( 1 842), M . Sars (1861) and Lyman (1882, p. 136). 2. Due to the unexpectedly wide distribution of this species, no unanimity was reached prior to 1900 and indeed several other names were proposed, including Ophiura neglecta Johnston, ,1835; O. moniliformis Grube, 1840; Ophiolepis tenuis Ayres, 1851; Amphiura tenera Lutken, 1859; Amphipholis lineata Ljungman, 1871; A. kinbergi Ljungman, 1871 and A. appressa Ljungman, 1871. 3. Amphipholis Ljungman, 1867a (p. 164) was initially a monotypic genus with A. januarii alone. Since Ljuhgman's short paper with diagnoses of new taxa was published in the June part of the Ofversigt, while his comprehensive review of ophiuroidea (1867b), where several other species (p. 311-315) besides elegans (with synonym squamata) were also included in Amphipholis, was not published until December of the same year, Thomas (1966, p. 831) in a paper revising the American species of Amphipholis, has restricted the genus to A.januarii Ljungman, 1867, and designated Asterias squamata Delle Chiaje, 1828 as type species of a new nominal genus Axiognathus. The distinction between them was based only on non-superficial charac-ters still to be tested as of generic weight in the family amphiuridae, and the name Axiognathus has not so far been appraised by other echinoderm specialists. 4. In view of this proposed change in the generic name, the frequency of the species throughout the world and its viviparous habit and luminosity which make Amphipholis squamata 'the most widely mentioned amphiurid brittlestar in scientific literature' (Thomas, 1 966, p. 83 1 ), it is particularly important that the specific name be stabilized. 5. Becauseof the inadequacy of the information provided by Leach (1815) to estab-lish the identity oi Ophiura elegans, the absence of extant type material and the fact that Amphipholis squamata has been widely used (a list of representative references is held by



Case 2131. Asterias squamata Delle Chiaje, 1828 (currently Amphipholis squamata; Echinodermata, Ophiuroidea): proposed conservation of the specific name

A M Clark
Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 44: 246-247 (1987)

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