(Kottelat, Maurice 2016)
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- Gonorhynchus Kottelat, Maurice, 2016, Zootaxa 4178: 445-446.
Fowler (1941: 728), the first author to treat Gonorynchus Scopoli as valid after 1919, listed ‘ Gonorhynchus Gronovius’ as non-binominal. Fowler did not mention Gonorhynchus Cuvier. Fowler used the spelling Gonorynchidae, and Gonorynchidae Fowler cannot be an emendation of Gonorhynchidae Richardson because this last name was nowhere mentioned. Similarly, there is no objective way of stating that Gonorynchidae Fowler would be an incorrect subsequent spelling of Gonorhynchidae Richardson. Therefore, Gonorynchidae Fowler can only be treated as a new family-group name based on Gonorynchus Scopoli. An alternative interpretation, that Gonorynchidae Fowler was based on an unjustified emendation or an incorrect spelling of Gonorhynchus, is not possible because Fowler did not emend Gonorhynchus (in which case Code art. 35.4.1 would apply) but explicitly used Gonorynchus Scopoli. In conclusion, Gonorynchidae Fowler, 1941: 728 is a junior synonym of Gonorhynchidae Richardson. Although he did not state it explicitly, Fowler created Gonorynchidae because of the then-prevailing view that a family name must be based on a valid generic name (here Gonorynchus) and not on a junior synonym (here Gonorhynchus). This is not correct under article 40.1 of the present Code: the oldest family group name (Gonorhynchidae Richardson) is the valid one, even if its type genus (Gonorhynchus) is a junior synonym (of Gonorynchus). However, Gonorhynchidae Richardson, 1848 had been replaced by Gonorynchidae before 1961 (by Fowler 1941) and Gonorynchidae is now more frequently used. Code art. 40.2 would require to give precedence to Gonorynchidae over Gonorhynchidae if the former were in “prevailing usage”. The glossary of the Code defines prevailing usage as “that usage of the name which is adopted by at least a substantial majority of the most recent authors concerned with the relevant taxon”, but it does not define “subtantial majority”. Obviously it means much more than a simple majority. A brief review of the taxonomic literature of the last 20 years suggests that Gonorynchidae is used in more than 80 % of the relevant titles. Gonorhynchidae is rarely used as valid name in taxonomic literature; it is mostly seen in non taxonomic literature (hence not quantified). I consider that this qualifies as “substantial majority” and that Gonorynchidae must be retained (Code art. 40.2); it becomes a senior synonym, and is deemed to have been published in 1848 (Code art. 40.2.1, Recommendation 40A). Precedence of Gonorynchidae over Gonorhynchidae also greatly reduces the potential for future confusion. The Example in the Code is straightforward. If the generic and family names are replaced by those of gonorhynchids, it reads: “The fish family name Gonorhynchidae Richardson, 1848, based on Gonorhynchus Cuvier, 1816, was used until Fowler (1941) synonymized Gonorhynchus with Gonorynchus Scopoli, 1777 and adopted Gonorynchidae, based on the senior synonym Gonorynchus. This family name has been almost universally used since that time and it is to be maintained. [...] Gonorynchidae is cited with its own author and date, followed by the date of the replaced name in parentheses: Gonorynchidae Fowler, 1941 (1848). It takes precedence over Gonorhynchidae Richardson, 1848, and any subsequently published synonyms.”
- Kottelat, Maurice; 2016: On Gonorynchus, Gonorhynchus, Gonorinchus, Gonorhinchus and Gonorrhynchus, and some other names of labeonine fishes (Teleostei: Gonorynchidae and Cyprinidae), Zootaxa 4178: 445-446. doi