ERMS note details

There is considerable confusion regarding the type species of Bermudella, Polycerella zoobotryon Smallwood, 1910, originally described from external anatomy only and whose description was later (Smallwood, 1912) completed with anatomical data based on additional specimens and not on the 5 mm specimen illustrated in the original description. The genus Bermudella Odhner, 1941, is based on the latter, with a radular formula n x, whereas the original description is interpreted as a species of Okenia, with a radular formula n x by Clark (1984) and Ortea et al. (2009). Therefore, as pointed out by Ortea et al. (2009) it is possible that the specimens on which Smallwood (1912) based his redescription, and on which Odhner (1941) based the genus Bermudella, are not conspecific and not congeneric with the specimen originally described by Smallwood (1910), and that they could be an undescribed species. This case can be resolved under ICZN: "Art. 70.3. Misidentified type species. If an author discovers that a type species was misidentified (...) the author may select, and thereby fix as type species, the species that will, in his or her judgment, best serve stability and universality, either [70.3.1.] the nominal species previously cited as type species [Arts. 68, 69], or [70.3.2.] the taxonomic species actually involved in the misidentification". Pola (2014) designated a neotype of Polycerella zoobotryon which defines it as a species of Okenia, but no action seems to have been taken regarding Polycerella zoobotryon sensu Smallwood, 1912 and the type species of Bermudella.
Ortea J., Moro L. & Espinosa J. (2009) El género Okenia Menke, 1830 (Mollusca: Nudibranchia) en las islas Canarias con notas sobre Okenia zoobotryon (Smallwood, 1910) una especie en controversia permanente. Vieraea 37: 75-83. available online at
2016-12-03 09:21:35Z