A new mudskipper species was named in 1995 by Lee et. al. as Periophthalmus magnuspinnatus. We recently found out that maybe this species has been living in China for years. At the first sight at the name, it’s hard to discover the problem, actually at first, I thought it’s “magnu-spinnatus” (with a very rare connecting vowel). Then later, Gian told me that this name means “magnus pinnatus (big, finned)”, then I realized the problem at once. The author simply combined these two words together instead of compounding them in the latin manner. The correct way of combining such a word is to use a connecting vowel. It’s customed to use “i” for latin stems, thus the name should’ve been “magnipinnatus“.
There’s no problem regarding the grammar, it’s definitely wrong. However, does the zoological code allow us to correct this name? We posted a question on the ICZN mailing list, and replies flooded in.