Accepted by D. Calder: 27 Mar. 2017; published: 1 Aug. 2017
ISSN 1175-5326 (print edition)
Copyright © 2017 Magnolia Press
Zootaxa 4300 (1): 147
Ixion Alderslade, 2001 and Ixioninae Alderslade, 2001
(Coelenterata: Octocorallia: Xeniidae): correctio errorum
& MICHAEL JANES
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Division of Oceans & Atmosphere, GPO Box 1538,
Hobart, Tasmania 7001, Australia. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
AquaTouch, 12040 North 32
Street, Phoenix, Arizona 85028, USA. E-mail: email@example.com
In 2001 a Festschrift was published in the Bulletin of the Biological Society of Washington to honour Frederick (Ted)
Bayer, preeminent octocoral taxonomist and Zoologist Emeritus of the Smithsonian Institution, on his 80
volume was edited by Stephen Cairns and Charles Messing and contained papers and articles by many of Bayer’s
colleagues and past students. The contents included a paper by the first author (Alderslade 2001), within which a number
of new genera were described and a new xeniid subfamily was proposed. Not long after the volume was published a
nomenclatural problem in the paper was brought to the attention of the first author. Sometime after this a second problem
became apparent; one of imperfect technique that also has nomenclatural implications. Despite good intentions for
prompt action to correct the situation, the task slipped furtively into the first author’s “must-not-forget-to-do-that”
receptacle: a container already over-full and seemingly with very limited attention-holding ability, all too easy to blame
on “Busy Life Syndrome” (Miriam R.). This very belated note finally addresses the nomenclatural issues.
The first problem, initially brought to the first author’s attention by a person whose name and correspondence are
unfortunately no longer available, and then later by Dr Doug Yanega, Entomology Research Museum, University of
California, was that the name Ixion Alderslade, 2001, proposed for one of the new genera, was a homonym of Ixion
Paulson, 1875 (Decapoda), a name that was already preoccupied by Ixion Reitter, 1873 (Coleoptera). According to
Ya ne g a, Ixion of Reitter was in use until about 1930. At the time the manuscript for this current paper was submitted, the
taxon was listed as a “doubtful genus” with no included species in GBIF, although, in a relatively recent publication,
Bousquet (2010: 320) treated the genus as valid with two assigned species. On the other hand, Ixion of Paulson (entered
as Paul’son in the WoRMS database) is considered a junior synonym of Cyphocarcinus A. Milne-Edwards, 1868.
The name Ezziona is here proposed as a replacement name for Ixion Alderslade, 2001: type species Ixion dinesenae
(= Ezziona dinesenae new combination) Alderslade, 2001; etymology, a combination of letters; gender feminine.
The second error in the paper was the erection of the subfamily Ixioninae Alderslade, 2001 for a group of three new
and one existing genus-level taxa that were new additions to the family Xeniidae Ehrenberg, 1828: Ixion (=Ezziona);
Ingotia Alderslade, 2001; Orangaslia Alderslade, 2001; and Asterospicularia Utinomi, 1951. It was claimed that the
species within these genera had all eight mesenterial filaments equally developed instead of the increased development
of just the asulcul pair: an established character of the family. Both of us investigated this character state by making
transverse sections of different representatives of these and other genera. In the genus Sansibia Alderslade, 2000, for
example, each of several transverse sections, made with just a scalpel, along the long body of the polyps plainly showed
that only the asulcul mesenterial filaments were well developed. But the subsequent sectioning of the shorter polyps of
Ixion (=Ezziona), Ingotia, Orangaslia and Asterospicularia revealed no increased development of the asulcul filaments,
which in the case of Asterospicularia matched the observations of Utinomi (1951: 192). Later, however, it was
discovered that in the shorter and far more contracted polyps of these other genera, the extra development of the asulcul
mesenterial filaments is present, but for only an extremely short distance immediately below the proximal end of the
pharynx. And in the specimen of Orangaslia, for example, the developed region was found to be not only extremely
short but the filaments themselves were extremely thin. We conclude that this character could have been more accurately
assessed if the body wall of the polyps had simply been cut longitudinally to reveal the internal mesenteries.
As a consequence of the above facts, the subfamily Ixioninae has no subordinate taxa. Additionally, the name is also
not valid as it is a homonym of Ixioninae Neumann, 1878 (itself a junior synonym of Pisinae Dana, 1851).
The first author would like to thank Doug Yanega and the earlier unknown correspondent for bringing the
homonymy of Ixion to his attention. The tardiness of this corrective action is regretted.
ALDERSL ADE & JANES
· Zootaxa 4300 (1) © 2017 Magnolia Press
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