NANFA-- Fundulus rubrifrons

Bruce Stallsmith (
Tue, 29 Aug 2000 11:37:11 EDT

This message is mostly for Doug(?) Dame who I corresponded with yesterday,
but I deleted his address.. I hope it's of general interest. Doug asked me
about the systematics and distribution of Fundulus cingulatus. In my first
reply I overlooked(!) that cingulatus is now considered an "illegal" name,
replaced by auroguttatus, and that a new species, rubrifrons, has been
recognized out of some of the original populations of cingulatus. So, to
explain that to Doug and everyone else paying attention, here's an excerpt
from Rick Mayden originally sent to the Texas Natural History Collection
describing the reasons:

"Fundulus auroguttatus (Hay) and Fundulus rubrifrons (Jordan) were
previously recognized as junior synonyms of Fundulus cingulatus
Valenciennes. The holotype of Fundulus cingulatus has been determined to be
a specimen of F. lineolatus; the former becomes a junior synonym of the
latter (Gilbert et al., 1992)."

This served to raise both F. auroguttatus (former cingulatus) and F.
rubrifrons (a separate species now, formerly separate subspecies in some
eyes) to full species status and remove cingulatus as a legitimate Fundulus
specific name. (Holotype is the specimen upon which a species description is
based, and is usually carefully labelled and stored as such.)

OK, I got that off my chest...

--Bruce Stallsmith
Huntsville, AL

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