THE BULLETIN OF ZOOLOGICAL NOMENCLATURE 1970 VOLUME 27

The Official Organ of 

THE INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION ON ZOOLOGICAL NOMENCLATURE 

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CALLOPANCHAX MYERS 1933 (PISCES): REQUEST FOR A RULING 
AS TO THE TYPE-SPECIES. Z.N.(S.) 1910 

By G. S. Myers {Museum of Comparative Zoology, Cambridge, Mass., U.S.A.) 

The purpose of the present application is to ask the International Com- 
mission for a ruling on the question of the species to be accepted as the type- 
species of the genus-group taxon Callopanchax Myers, 1933. This case involves 
a misidentified type-species, and the possible objective synonymization of 
Callopanchax Myers, 1933, with Fundulopanchax Myers, 1924. 

2. Myers (1924 : 2) proposed the new genus Aphyosemion Myers, 1924, 
with A. castaneum Myers, 1924, sp. nov., as its designated type-species. There 
is no question in regard to this name. 

3. In the same paper (Myers, 1924 : 4) 1 proposed, as a sub-genus of 
Aphyosemion, the new subgeneric name Fundulopanchax Myers, 1924, with 
Fundulus gularis var. caerulea Boulenger (1915 : 30) as its designated type, at 
the same time raising var. caerulea to species rank, in the combination Aphyo- 
semion {Fundulopanchax) caeruleum (Boulenger). This species was clearly 
figured by me in Fig. 3. Due to subsequent name changes, it will be most 
convenient hereinafter to refer to A. caeruleum under its vernacular name, 
"blue gularis", under which it has invariably been known to aquarists from 
about the year 1910 to the present day. No doubt attaches to the zoological 
entity know as the "blue gularis" or Aphyosemion caeruleum, although 
caeruleum has now disappeared as a subjective junior synonym of another name 
(see below). 

4. Myers (1933 : 184), in a revision of the generic limits of the African 
genera related to Aphyosemion, divided that genus into three subgenera: 
Aphyosemion, sensu stricto; Fundulopanchax Myers, 1924; and Callopanchax 
Myers, 1933, subgen. nov., giving, as generic type of Callopanchax, the species 
Fundulus sjoestedti Lonnberg, 1895. Only the type-species was referred by me 
(Myers, 1933) to the monospecific subgenus Callopanchax. In this 1933 paper, 
the taxonomy of the species was not revised, but all nominal species and sub- 
species names then accepted were listed under their proper genera and subgenera. 
I had not then seen all the species, but to the name of each species of which I 
had seen the type specimens I appended a footnote reference, stating: "Types 
examined". No such footnote was appended to my Usting of Aphyosemion 
sjoestedti (Lonnberg), the type-species of Callopanchax, because I had not seen 
Lonnberg's type of that taxon, which is preserved in Stockholm. As in the 
case of the "blue gularis" mentioned above as the type-species of Fundulopanchax 
Myers, 1924, it will aid in clarity to use the vernacular name for the species 
which I called Aphyosemion sjoestedti in 1933 and which I gave as the type- 
species of Callopanchax; since about 1910, and up until the present, aquarists 
have uniformly used the name "golden pheasant" for that species. 

5. In evaluating my usage of species names in 1933, it will be helpful to 
point out that, until very recently, the species classification (as distinguished 
from the generic classification) of the African Cyprinodontidae now under 

Bull. zool. Nomencl., Vol. 27, Parts 5/6. March 1971 



Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature '2A1 

discussion was that presented by Boulenger (1915 ; and the addenda in Boulenger 
1916). Although many new species had been added to those treated in 
Boulenger's major work, no important attempts at a revision of the generic and 
subgeneric limits which I proposed in 1933, and no major revisions of 
Boulenger's species treatment, were made until the decade of the 1960's. My 
1933 listings of the older species names pubUshed prior to Boulenger (1915; 
1916) followed Boulenger's treatment in detail, except for the raising of his var. 
caerulea to species rank as Aphyosemion caeruleum. 

6. It must especially be noted that my 1933 concept of what Boulenger 
(1915 : 38-39) called Fundulus sjoestedti (Lonnberg), which is the species that I 
cited in 1933 as the type of Callopanchax Myers, 1933, followed Boulenger 
precisely. The subgenus Callopanchax was based primarily on a high count of 
dorsal and anal fin rays, and the count-limits that I gave for Callopanchax were 
derived from Boulenger's description of ''Fundulus sjoestedti" (Boulenger, 
1915 : 38). Moreover, the geographical range that 1 gave for Callopanchax 
was copied directly from Boulenger (1915 : 38-39) and from his addenda 
(Boulenger, 1916 : 325). Aside from Boulenger's accounts just cited, I had 
only a single preserved specimen of the species I chose as type of Callopanchax; 
it was almost certainly the only museum specimen of that fish in North America 
in 1933. It is in the U.S. National Museum (Register no. 94316). It was an 
aquarium specimen (male) of the "golden pheasant", without locality data, and 
it agreed well with Boulenger's 1915 figure of the male and his description of 
"Fundulus sjoestedti". From these data it will be abundantly clear that the 
type-species I chose for Callopanchax Myers, 1933, was the "golden pheasant", 
which was described and figured by Boulenger as Fundulus sjoestedti (Lonnberg). 
Moreover, the matter is verifiable by examination of my specimen (USNM 
94316). 

7. Stenholt Clausen (1966; 1967) has recently examined the type specimen 
of Fundulus sjoestedti Lonnberg, 1895, in Stockholm, and finds that it is not an 
example of the "golden pheasant", as Boulenger (1915 : 1916) and all sub- 
sequent writers had presumed. Instead, the type specimen of F. sjoestedti is an 
example of the "blue gularis". Thus the species that was previously and in- 
variably called Aphyosemion caeruleum (Boulenger, 1915) falls as a junior 
subjective synonym of Aphyose/nion sjoestedti (Lonnberg, 1895), the latter 
combination being thus transferred from the "golden pheasant" to the "blue 
gularis". There being no available synonyms, the "golden pheasant" was thus 
left without a species name, and Stenholt Clausen (1966 : 331) proposed 
Aphyosemion occidentale S. Clausen, 1966, sp. nov., for it. 

8. However, towards the end of the same paper, Stenholt Clausen (1966 : 
338), proposed Roloffia S. Clausen, gen. nov., with Aphyosemion occidentale 
S. Clausen of the same paper (p. 331) as type-species, and uses the new com- 
bination Roloffia occidentalis for the "golden pheasant". For explanation of 
this act, Stenholt Clausen refers to a then unpubUshed paper (Stenholt Clausen, 
1967). It is of zoological but not nomenclatural importance that I do not 
consider the taxon called Roloffia or Callopanchax to be worthy of generic rank. 

9. In the last-mentioned paper (1967 : 22) Stenholt Clausen admitted that 
the "golden pheasant" had uniformly been known as Aphyosemion sjoestedti 



248 Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 

previous to his publication of 1966. He also admitted that the "golden 
pheasant" was almost surely the species I had in mind when I made Fundulus 
sjoestedti the type-species of Callopanchax in 1933. However, Stenholt Clausen 
raised doubts as to what species I had intended as type of Callopanchax by 
pointing out that almost the only character I used for defining Callopanchax 
(dorsal and anal fin-ray counts) is not wholly diagnostic, and that the geo- 
graphical range I gave was not that nowadays known for the "golden pheasant", 
the only species that I referred to Callopanchax in 1933. Stenholt Clausen 
ignored (or did not verify) the fact that both the fin-ray counts and the geo- 
graphical range I gave for Callopanchax were copied in toto from Boulenger's 
account of "Fundulus sjoestedti" (Boulenger, 1915 : 38-39; 1916 : 325). It is 
therefore completely verifiable from the literature alone (quite apart from any 
examination of my specimen in Washington) that the definition and range of 
Callopanchax given by me in 1933 for that monospecific subgenus were drawn 
entirely and verbatim from Boulenger's 1915 and 1916 accounts of "Fundulus 
sjoestedti" (that is, the "golden pheasant"). 

10. Stenholt Clausen (1967 : 22) also makes the claim that if I had really 
intended the "golden pheasant" to be the type of Callopanchax in 1933, his 
discovery (of 1966-1967) that the "golden pheasant" had become nameless 
(because he had transferred the name sjoestedti to the "blue gularis") the 
generic-group name Callopanchax was invalidated because it no longer had a 
named type-species. I can find no provision of the Code to support the claim 
that a generic-group name is invalidated when its type-species is found to be 
misidentified and is temporarily nameless. Moreover, the type-species of 
Callopanchax was never left nameless, because Stenholt Clausen (1966), in the 
same paper in which he shifted the name sjoestedti to the "blue gularis" provided 
its type-species (the "golden pheasant") with the new name occidentale. At 
best (or worst) the account of the "golden pheasant" given by Boulenger 
(1915 : 38-39; 1916 : 325) was a composite based upon the "golden pheasant" 
(which is the species figured) and possibly a few specimens of related populations. 

11. Stenholt Clausen (1967 : 22) stated: "It is, in fact, almost certain that 
Myers [1933] had the undescribed form [the "golden pheasant"] in mind [as the 
type species of Callopanchax], as its identity with Fundulus sjoestedti Lonnberg 
has never been questioned prior to 1966". Nevertheless, Stenholt Clausen 
proceeded as if the type-species of Callopanchax had not been misidentified, 
which resulted in Fundulopanchax Myers, 1924 (type caeruleum Boulenger, 
1915 = sjoestedti Lonnberg, 1895) and Callopanchax Myers, 1933 (type 
sjoestedti Lonnberg, 1895 = caeruleum Boulenger, 1915) being considered by 
Stenholt Clausen to have been based on the same species. I must dissent from 
the impUed conclusion that I based two new generic names on the same species! 
I have already demonstrated that I did not do so, and also that the facts are 
verifiable from the literature alone, to say nothing of the evidence provided 
by the only specimen of the "golden pheasant" available to me in 1933. The 
subgenus Callopanchax Myers, 1933, was clearly based upon a misidentified 
type-species, Fundulus sjoestedti Boulenger, 1915 (nee Fundulus sjoestedti 
Lonnberg, 1895), which equals Aphyosemion occidentale Stenholt Clausen, 
1966. 



Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 249 

12. In order to clear up the case, the Commission is requested: 

(1) to use its plenary powers to suppress all designations of type-species for 

the nominal genus Callopanchax Myers, 1933, hitherto made and to 
designate Aphyosemion occidentale Stenholt Clausen, 1966, as type- 
species of that genus ; 

(2) to place the folloiving names on the Official List of Generic Names in 

Zoology: 

(a) Callopanchax Myers, 1933 (gender: masculine), type-species by 

designation under the plenary powers in (1) above, Aphyosemion 
occidentale Stenholt Clausen, 1966; 

(b) Fundulopanchax Myers, 1924 (gender: masculine), type-species by 

original designation Fundulus gularis var. caerulea Boulenger, 
1915. 

(3) to place the following names on the Official List of Specific Names in 

Zoology : 

(a) occidentale Stenholt Clausen, 1966, as published in the binomen 

Aphyosemion occidentale (type-species of Callopanchax Myers, 
1933); 

(b) caerulea Boulenger, 1915, as published in the combination Fundulus 

gularis var. caerulea (type-species of Fundulopanchax Myers, 
1924); 

(4) to place the generic name Roloffia Stenholt Clausen, 1966, on the Official 

Index of Rejected and Invalid Generic Names in Zoology (a junior 
objective synonym of Callopanchax Myers, 1933). 

Literature Cited 
Boulenger, G. A. 1915. Catalogue of the fresh-water fishes of Africa in the British 
Museum (Natural History). Vol. 3. London : xii + 526 pp. 

1916. Idem. Vol. 4. London : xxvii + 392 pp. 

LONNBERG, E. 1895. Notes on fishes collected in the Cameroons. Oefv. Kongl. 

Sv. Vet.-Akad. Forh. 52 : 191-193 
Myers, G. S. 1924. A new poeciliid fish from the Congo, with remarks on funduline 

genera. Amer. Mas. Novit. 116 : 1-1 1 

1933. The genera of Indo-Malayan and African cyprinodont fishes related to 

Panchax and Nothobranchius. Copeia, 1933 (4) : 180-185 

Stenholt Clausen, H. 1966. Definition of a new cyprinodont genus and descrip- 
tion of a "new" but well-known West African cyprinodont, with a clarification 
of the terms "sjostedti", Aphyosemion sjostedti (Lonnberg), and Aphyosemion 
caeruleum (Boulenger). Rev. Zool. Bot. Afric. 73 (1-2) : 331-341 

1967. Tropical Old World cyprinodonts; reflections on the taxonomy of 

tropical Old World cyprinodonts, with remarks on their biology and distri- 
bution. Kobenhavn (Akademisk Forlag) : 64 pp.









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