Debate

Frontiers in Zoology

, 7:29

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Invertebrate neurophylogeny: suggested terms and definitions for a neuroanatomical glossary

  • Stefan RichterAffiliated withInstitut für Biowissenschaften, Abteilung für Allgemeine und Spezielle Zoologie, Universität Rostock Email author 
  • , Rudi LoeselAffiliated withDepartment of Developmental Biology and Morphology of Animals, RWTH Aachen, Institute of Biology II
  • , Günter PurschkeAffiliated withFachbereich Biologie/Chemie, AG Zoologie, Universität Osnabrück
  • , Andreas Schmidt-RhaesaAffiliated withBiozentrum Grindel/Zoological Museum
  • , Gerhard ScholtzAffiliated withInstitut für Biologie - Vergleichende Zoologie, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
  • , Thomas StachAffiliated withZoologie - Systematik und Evolutionsforschung, Freie Universität Berlin
  • , Lars VogtAffiliated withInstitut für Evolutionsbiologie und Ökologie, Universität Bonn
  • , Andreas WanningerAffiliated withDepartment of Biology, Research Group for Comparative Zoology, University of Copenhagen
  • , Georg BrenneisAffiliated withInstitut für Biowissenschaften, Abteilung für Allgemeine und Spezielle Zoologie, Universität RostockInstitut für Biologie - Vergleichende Zoologie, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
    • , Carmen DöringAffiliated withFachbereich Biologie/Chemie, AG Zoologie, Universität Osnabrück
    • , Simone FallerAffiliated withDepartment of Developmental Biology and Morphology of Animals, RWTH Aachen, Institute of Biology II
    • , Martin FritschAffiliated withInstitut für Biowissenschaften, Abteilung für Allgemeine und Spezielle Zoologie, Universität Rostock
    • , Peter GrobeAffiliated withInstitut für Evolutionsbiologie und Ökologie, Universität Bonn
    • , Carsten M HeuerAffiliated withDepartment of Developmental Biology and Morphology of Animals, RWTH Aachen, Institute of Biology II
    • , Sabrina KaulAffiliated withZoologie - Systematik und Evolutionsforschung, Freie Universität Berlin
    • , Ole S MøllerAffiliated withInstitut für Biowissenschaften, Abteilung für Allgemeine und Spezielle Zoologie, Universität Rostock
    • , Carsten HG MüllerAffiliated withZoologisches Institut, Cytologie und Evolutionsbiologie, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität Greifswald
    • , Verena RiegerAffiliated withZoologisches Institut, Cytologie und Evolutionsbiologie, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität Greifswald
    • , Birgen H RotheAffiliated withBiozentrum Grindel/Zoological Museum
    • , Martin EJ StegnerAffiliated withInstitut für Biowissenschaften, Abteilung für Allgemeine und Spezielle Zoologie, Universität Rostock
    • , Steffen HarzschAffiliated withZoologisches Institut, Cytologie und Evolutionsbiologie, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität Greifswald

Abstract

Background

Invertebrate nervous systems are highly disparate between different taxa. This is reflected in the terminology used to describe them, which is very rich and often confusing. Even very general terms such as 'brain', 'nerve', and 'eye' have been used in various ways in the different animal groups, but no consensus on the exact meaning exists. This impedes our understanding of the architecture of the invertebrate nervous system in general and of evolutionary transformations of nervous system characters between different taxa.

Results

We provide a glossary of invertebrate neuroanatomical terms with a precise and consistent terminology, taxon-independent and free of homology assumptions. This terminology is intended to form a basis for new morphological descriptions. A total of 47 terms are defined. Each entry consists of a definition, discouraged terms, and a background/comment section.

Conclusions

The use of our revised neuroanatomical terminology in any new descriptions of the anatomy of invertebrate nervous systems will improve the comparability of this organ system and its substructures between the various taxa, and finally even lead to better and more robust homology hypotheses.