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Prymnesiophyceae not a current name?[edit]

Ruggiero et al.'s 2015 classification prefers Coccolithophyceae over Prymnesiophyceae, as the earliest validly published name, and this is now followed by AlgaeBase (e.g. at time of writing) and Catalogue of Life (2018 annual edition). WoRMS, which claims to follow AlgaeBase, however has Prymnesiophyceae as at today (though the record has not been changed since 2012). Ruggiero et al.'s revival of Coccolithophyceae follows this paper: Silva, P. C.; Throndsen, J.; Eikrem, W. (2007). Revisiting the nomenclature of Haptophytes. Phycologia. 46(4): 471-475., available online at

I have not changed relevant Wikispecies entries at this time but others may wish to do so. Regards - Tony Tony 1212 (talk) 21:27, 6 December 2018 (UTC)

I was curious to see how ITIS treats the haptophytes; relevant record is which uses Prymnesiophyceae and makes no mention of Coccolithophyceae in its synonymy. However that ITIS record has not been updated since 2002 and cites as its sources only the old NODC taxonomic code (very out-of-date these days) plus a 1997 book chapter "Chapter 5 - The Planktonic Marine Flagellates" by Jahn Throndsen, who is one of the authors on the 2007 paper cited above which now advocates using Coccolithophyceae.
While neither name is incorrect, Wikispecies has to decide who to follow (and thereby, indirectly promote). The Silva et al. paper says this in its final section: "Although it is not mandatory to apply the principle of priority to names of taxa above the rank of family (Vienna Code, Art. 11.10), it is recommended that the principle be followed when dealing with typified names (Vienna Code, Rec. 16B.1). We conclude by urging authors to treat the haptophytes as the class Coccolithophyceae, coordinate with the class Pavlovophyceae in the phylum or division Haptophyta." Cheers - Tony Tony 1212 (talk) 19:12, 7 December 2018 (UTC)
As an indication of perhaps general acceptance, the relevant chapter of "Handbook of the Protists" (Springer, 2016,, the standard work on protists (originally the 1990 Handbook of Protoctista) now uses Coccolithophyceae in place of Prymnesiophyceae, see . Jahn Throndsen is a co-author on that chapter, but presumably the relevant terminology was discussed and agreed to by his colleagues before committing to print.
I can also explain a little more about the Ruggiero et al./AlgaeBase/Catalogue of Life loop. Mike Guiry (AlgaeBase) is a co-author on the 2015 Ruggiero et al. classification, responsible for the Algae section, so it is not surprising that these two are in step. IRMNG (my database) aspires to follow Ruggiero et al. in most respects (except where I choose not to do so!) so in this case I have also changed from Prymnesiophyceae to Coccolithophyceae within the last couple of years (refer Catalogue of Life presently receives its algal classification from IRMNG so they inherit this as well, although they too are at liberty to make changes at higher ranks (their "management classification") should they choose to do so; in this case they do not. In case that helps...
For the record, the 2015 Ruggiero et al. classification can be found here: . There is an updated version also available, with some minor errors corrected, here: Regards - Tony Tony 1212 (talk) 21:05, 7 December 2018 (UTC)