Cris Guppy or Aud Fischer cguppy at
Sun Oct 29 00:51:08 EDT 2000

I don't think the ICZN articles muddy the waters as much as Ron thinks, if
they are examined carefully one at a time.

Article 33.2.1 basically says that the only way the original spelling of a
name can be declared "an error" is if the proof is WITHIN the original work,
or a corrigida published by the author or publisher for that work. Other
than that, the original spelling stands, even if it later becomes obvious
that the name was misspelled. This approach prevents "revisionists" from
re-interpreting what the author of a name was thinking. So this article says
that the spelling "E. gilletti" is not a valid change to the original
spelling of "E. gillettii".

Article 33.2.1 does lack clarity, because of the need to interpret
"prevailing usage". However I believe that it requires EVERY author to have
used the misspelling for MANY decades. For the specific case of E.
gillettii, Miller & Brown's checklist seem to have changed it to gilletti
from the previous use of gillettii and Ferris' revision of the checklist
changed it back. A brief look at various other publications indicates that
the "ii" version seems to predominate, and certainly it could not be argued
that the "i" version is in prevailing usage.

Article 33.4 simply says that when someone changes an "ii" ending to an "i"
ending without justification, it is to be treated as a spelling error,
rather than treating it as the creation of a new name which then has to be
listed as a synonym in checklists. So who ever first used "gilletti" did not
create a new name, they just mis-spelled an old name.

Changes actually can be validated by checklists and field guides, providing
all the rules within the Code are met. Anything to do with taxonomic names
simply has to be published in the sense of being made available in a
permanent form for use by the general scientific community (the Code needs
to be read for the details of this). The rules starting January 1, 2000 are
"tougher" than they used to be. In general changes to a previously published
name are very difficult to achieve, because of the need to maximize the
stability of names. However creating a new name used to be very easy, and is
only slightly more difficult now. It used to be quite routine for names to
be created accidently through mis-spellings of existing names, but the rules
now pretty much limit new names to intention creation.


-----Original Message-----
From: Ron Gatrelle <rgatrelle at>
To: Leps-l <Leps-l at>
Date: Saturday, October 28, 2000 8:57 PM
Subject: gillettii

>    Cris has presented the contextual case for the retention of the double
>ii. I have no problem with this. Other parts of the Code however seem to
>muddy these waters. This is where my confusion comes from.
>    Article 33.2.1: A change in the original spelling of a name is only to
>be interpreted as 'demonstrably intentional' when in the work itself, or in
>an author's(or publisher's) corrigenda, there is an explicit statement of
>intention, or when both the original and the changed spelling are cited and
>the latter is adopted in place of the former, or when two or more names in
>the same work are treated in a similar way.
>    Article 33.3.1. when an incorrect spelling [I read this in the case of
>Gillett's to refer to the gilletti version] is in prevailing usage and is
>attributed to the publication of the original spelling, the subsequent
>spelling and attribution are to be preserved and the spelling is deemed to
>be a correct original spelling. Example. The specific name Trypanosoma
>brucii Plummer & Bradford, 1899 is in prevailing usage, but is spelled
>brucei; brucei is deemed to be correct and its use is to be maintained.
>[R.G. confusing to me]
>    Article 33.4. Use of -i for -ii and vise versa, and other alternative
>spellings, in subsequent spellings of species-group names. The use of the
>genitive ending -i in a subsequent spelling of a species-group name that is
>a genitive based upon a personal name in which the correct original
>ends with -ii, or vice versa, is deemed to be an incorrect subsequent
>spelling, even if the change in spelling is deliberate; the same rule
>applies to the endings -ae and -iae, -orum and iorum, and -arum and -iarum.
>Example. The subsequent use by Waterhouse of the spelling bennettii for the
>name established as Macropus bennetti Waterhouse, 1837 does not make the
>subsequent spelling an available name even if the act was intentional.
>note this does not apply to prevailing usage cases.]
>    While some of these articles look to be contradictory the key in all of
>them is identifying the main subject. The code usually gives a lot of
>to things considered to be in "prevailing usage," So gilletti might be
>considered correct, or gillettii in other sections. I am not 100% sure.
>is absolutely wrong is gillettei or eii.
>  Changes can not be validated by checklists or simple "field guides." I
>have been looking for the citation on this but can't seem to find it. It is
>there and perhaps Cris or someone else can give us the reference.
>    For those who have not been dumbed-down and have thus made it to this
>point in this e-info, here is the overall point of these long discourses.
>TAXONOMY IS A SCIENCE NOT A GAME OR HOBBY. To those of us who take our
>science seriously (lepidopterology), things like the common names obsession
>are not just a joke, they are the scientific equivalent to the Cultural
>Revolution. Which, as oxymoron's go, was not about the advancement of
>intellectualism and cultural but the elimination of it -- dumbing-down.
>Dumbing-down is always about only one thing CONTROL. Maybe we should also
>get into a discussion on the definition of Fascism. But then we would ask
>the question. Are there environmental Fascists?
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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