Gonorhynchus McClelland, 1838

Kottelat, Maurice, 2016, On Gonorynchus, Gonorhynchus, Gonorinchus, Gonorhinchus and Gonorrhynchus, and some other names of labeonine fishes (Teleostei: Gonorynchidae and Cyprinidae), Zootaxa 4178 (3), pp. 443-450: 444-445

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Gonorhynchus McClelland, 1838


Gonorhynchus McClelland, 1838  

M'Clelland (1839) published a monograph of the Cyprinidae   of India, which included a new classification. Earlier ( McClelland 1838), he published a summary of his new classification in which he used the name Gonorhynchus   for some Cyprinidae   of India. This has often been considered as the creation of a new genus name. No nominal species were mentioned in the 1838 paper. If this were a new name, a ‘ Gonorhynchus McClelland, 1838   ’ would be a junior homonym of Gonorhynchus Cuvier, 1816   and therefore not available for the South Asian ‘ Crossocheilus   ’.  

But McClelland did not create a new name. His comment ( McClelland 1838: 942) “this peculiar group [of Cyprinidae   ] which I have incorporated with the genus Gonorhynchus   ...” explicitly indicates that “this group” was added to a pre-existing Gonorhynchus   that can only have been that of Gronovius and Cuvier.

In the monograph, M'Clelland (1839: 366) explicitly stated that Gonorhynchus   had been “formed by the elder Gronovius ... from a single species found at the Cape of Good Hope”. He also mentioned (p. 261) “ Gonorhynchus Gron.   ”. It is clear that McClelland knew Cuvier's work, from either the 1816 or 1829 editions (with quasi identical text), because he cited it many times, starting on the first page of the 1839 monograph (p. 217).

In conclusion, there is no such thing as a ‘ Gonorhynchus McClelland, 1838   ’ but merely a usage of Gonorhynchus Cuvier, 1816   by McClelland. ‘ Gonorhynchus   McClelland’ is listed as an available name in some nomenclators and synonymies (e.g. Jordan 1919: 194; Eschmeyer 1998: 1952; Kottelat 2013: 89) but it does not seem to have been used as the name of a valid genus between M'Clelland (1839) and Yang et al. (2012).

[A reviewer commented that alternatively McClelland may have referred directly to Gronovius and (like Cuvier) corrected the spelling of the name. The likelihood that a copy of a book as rare as Gronovius (1763) was available to McClelland in Calcutta in 1838 seems slight, although not impossible. In any event, if that hypothesis were accepted, it would not change the present outcome since a Gonorhynchus McClelland, 1838   would in any event be a junior homonym of Gonorhynchus Cuvier, 1816   .]