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Re: Richardoestesia vs. Ricardoestesia (again)



From: Ben Creisler bh480@scn.org
I guess George and I are reading the ICZN differently. The 
First Reviser doesn't have to state explicitly "I am 
acting as First Reviser" or "This is a revision to so-and-
so's zoological name."  Here's what ICZN Art. 24.2.3 says:

24.2.3. Selection of correct original spellings. If a name 
is spelled in more than one way in the original work, the 
first author to have cited them together and to have 
selected one spelling as correct is the First Reviser. The 
selected spelling (if not incorrect under Articles 32.4 or 
32.5) is thereby fixed as the correct original spelling; 
any other spelling is incorrect (and therefore unavailable 
[Art. 32.4]).

When George created the entry for Richardoestesia in MM # 
2 (first edition, 1991), he did it as follows:
Genus: Richardoestesia Currie, Rigby & Sloan, 1990
     = Ricardoestesia Currie, Rigby & Sloan, 1990 [sic]
    R. gilmorei Currie, Rigby & Sloan 1990
NOTE: The above genus is based on a small dentary 
originally referred to Chirostenotes in Gilmore, 1924.
***
Because he indicates with [sic] that "Ricardoestesia" is a 
misspelling, he selected Richardoestesia as the correct 
spelling and thus becomes the First Reviser for the name.
The Big Question is whether the spelling Richardoestesia 
can be considered incorrect under 32.4 and 32.5.  Here's 
what the ICZN says:

32.5. Spellings that must be corrected (incorrect original 
spellings).
32.5.1. If there is in the original publication itself, 
without recourse to any external source of information, 
clear evidence of an inadvertent error, such as a lapsus 
calami or a copyist's or printer's error, it must be 
corrected. Incorrect transliteration or latinization or 
use of an inappropriate connecting vowel, are not to be 
considered inadvertent errors.
***
As I read this provision, the minor latinization 
difference between Richardoestesia and Ricardoestesia 
would not be considered an inadvertent error.
The etymology in Currie, Rigby and Sloan 1990 reads: "In 
honour of Richard Estes, whose 1964 paper on Lance 
Formation microvertebrate fossils demonstrated the use of 
theropod teeth in faunal studies." This sentence does not 
indicate that Richardoestesia would be an incorrect name 
meant to honor Richard Estes. By 
contrast, "Pichardoestesia" or "Ricardoastesia" obviously 
would be incorrect names if the intention was to honor 
someone named Richard Estes.  The fact the authors' may 
have preferred the spelling Ricardoestesia is an "external 
source of information" that can't be used to make a 
mandatory correction, much as George and others (myself 
included) may sympathize.
The "revision" made to the spellings in MM #2 third 
edition wasn't valid, since under the ICZN George had 
already been the First Reviser in 1991, and the spelling 
he chose did not qualify as "incorrect."

The current coexistence of the spellings Richardoestesia 
(found in most technical papers) and Ricardoestesia (found 
in at least one major book and on many websites) is 
obviously confusing, since valid generic names can differ 
by a single letter (Camposaurus and Camptosaurus are two 
different dinosaurs, for instance), and both these names 
designate exactly the same taxon. Had Richardoestesia 
remained a rarely discussed  taxon, maybe this issue would 
not be so noticeable. However, there is growing interest 
around the world in fossil teeth of small theropods 
otherwise not documented in the fossil record. 
Richardoestesia-like teeth are showing up in Europe and 
elsewhere,  and settling the correct spelling would 
benefit everybody doing research on the topic.