[Taxacom] Sperm whale scientific name - catodon or macrocephalus?

Tony.Rees at csiro.au Tony.Rees at csiro.au
Thu Jun 19 02:08:49 CDT 2008

Dear Taxacomers,

I've been searching to see if there is any resolution to the dispute back in 1986-7 as to whether Physeter catodon or P. macrocephalus should be the correct name for the sperm whale. ITIS, on its species page for that taxon, says:

"Physeter catodon and Physeter macrocephalus are awaiting a ruling regarding their usage by the ICZN"

However I can find no evidence that the case has ever been submitted to the ICZN for a ruling. Also, 20+ years seems a long time for this confusion to be unresolved - unless I have missed it.

Any advice appreciated (I am trying to harmonize my local databases with current practice, also keep relevant text in a Wikipedia article on the same as correct as possible).

Regards - Tony

Tony Rees
Manager, Divisional Data Centre,
CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research,
GPO Box 1538,
Hobart, Tasmania 7001, Australia
e-mail: Tony.Rees at csiro.au
Biodiversity informatics research activities: http://www.cmar.csiro.au/datacentre/biodiversity.htm
Personal info: http://www.fishbase.org/collaborators/collaboratorsummary.cfm?id=1566

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