Abstract: The purpose of this note is to retain five names of small cetaceans—Delphinapterus leucas (Pallas, 1776) for the beluga whale, Tursiops truncatus (Montagu, 1821) for the common bottlenose dolphin, Lissodelphis borealis (Peale, 1849) for the northern right whale dolphin, Cephalorhynchus eutropia (Gray, 1846) for the Chilean dolphin, and Inia geoffrensis (Blainville in Desmarest, 1817) for the Amazon river dolphin—that are each threatened by synonyms that antedate their currently used names. In each case, the earlier name has rarely or never been used in the past 120 years, and its resurrection as the valid name for these species would threaten stability. Prevailing usage must be maintained to favor stability over priority in accordance with Article 23.9 of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature. I request that in each case listed, the designated junior synonym be henceforth considered a nomen protectum (and thereby continue to be used as the valid name for the relevant taxon) and that each of the indicated senior synonyms be treated as a nomen oblitum (i.e., forgotten name).
Key Words: nomenclature, taxonomy, systematics, Cetacea, Odontoceti, dolphin, porpoise, small whale
Page Numbers: 257-267
Proposal to Retain the Scientific Names of Five Species of Small Cetaceans (Delphinapterus leucas, Tursiops truncatus, Lissodelphis borealis, Cephalorhynchus eutropia, and Inia geoffrensis) by Designating Their Unused Senior Synonyms as nomina oblita