Protozoa Taxonomy Problem

Alastair Simpson sox at BIO.USYD.EDU.AU
Tue Jul 25 08:51:19 CDT 1995

>Dear Taxacom subscribers
>        I have a tricky taxonomic problem and was wondering if anyone can help.
>        In 1940 Lackey described a new species of Protist (protozoa) as
>"Rhynchobodo agilis".  This was the first use of the genus name
>Rhynchobodo.  In the description of this bug, however Lackey contrasts his
>new species with the previously described "R. nasuta".  RhynchoMONAS
>nasuta is a well known protist described last century and quite clearly
>the organism referred to as "R. nasuta" by Lackey.  Therefore it is clear
>that Rhynchobodo as Lackey used it was a misspelling of Rhynchomonas.
>        In 1985 Brugerolle described a new species of Protist as
>Rhynchobodo armata.  He did this because his organism was similar in
>appearence to Lackey's Rhynchobodo agilis (but not similar to Rhynchomonas
>nasuta).  Brugerolle did not acknowledge lackey's error and treated
>"Rhynchobodo" like any properly erected taxon.  Brugerolles account
>included a study of the ultrastructure of the organism.  Ultrastructure is
>generally much more reliable than light microscopy  for determining the
>affinities of protists.
>        In 1992 Vors observed an organism that had been originally
>decribed as Cryptaulax taeniata Skuja 1956.   Cryptaulax was erected by
>Skuja in 1948 with C. akopos as the type species.  Vors found that the
>ultrastructure of taeniata was similar to Brugerolle's observations of
>"Rhynchobodo armata".   Vors recognised that Rhynchobodo had no legal
>status.  Vors' (1992) solution was to publish and emended description of
>Rhynchobodo (ie. Rhynchobodo Lackey, 1940 emend.) , removing taeniata from
>Cryptaulax and using it as the type species for Rhynchobodo.  Vors also
>synonymised Rhynchobodo armata with Rhynchobodo agilis.
>        No ultrastructural information is available for any of the 1/2
>dozen nominal species still in Cryptaulax.  It is a fair bet that most or
>all of them are very similar to those species in Rhynchobodo.
>So currently (ie. According to Vors (1992)
>Rhynchobodo (Lackey 1940 emend.)consists of two species
>Rhynchobodo taeniata (Skuja, 1956)Vors 1992- THE TYPE SPECIES.
>Rhynchobodo agilis Lackey, 1940.
>We suspect that what Vors did was illegal but can't find an article in the
>ICZN that covers the situation unambiguously.  We have a protist that is
>very similar to the bugs Vors put into Rhynchobodo and need a valid genus
>name for it.
>        Suggestions, answers, inspiration etc. would be gratefully recieved.
>                                     Thank you
>                                                        Alastair Simpson,
>Protsville, Australia
>Sox at

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