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Making a case for the original spelling of an epithet: 'Correction' of the original spelling of Agaricus rachodes to Agaricus rhacodes (Basidiomycota) is unjustified

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We present the rather unusual case of the spelling of the epithet 'rachodes'. In 1833 Vittadini described a new agaric species with the name Agaricus rachodes, but supplied no etymology. A variant spelling 'rhacodes' was first printed in 1849, apparently as a random mistranscription, but gained increasing currency from about the mid 1870s, and both names have been in use ever since. Two possible roots for the name are the Greek words 'αο' (rag) and 'αο' (bush, quickset hedge), for which transliterated derivations may vary from 'racodes' to 'rhachodes'. Since Vittadini's consistent spelling cannot be considered an orthographic error, the original spelling has to be retained (ICBN Art. 60.1). A proposal to conserve the alternative spelling 'rhacodes' could be based only on its preponderant use, a situation that has never existed during the 175 year history of the name, and certainly does not exist now. In order to resolve this impasse, a proposal is published separately to conserve Agaricus rachodes with the original spelling 'rachodes' under ICBN Art. 14.11, as a means of enforcing Art. 60.1.
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Keywords: CHLOROPHYLLUM; ETYMOLOGY; ORTHOGRAPHY; TRANSCRIPTION; TRANSLITERATION

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, 111 Koshland Hall, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720-3102, U.S.A. 2: Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research, Private Bag 92 170, Auckland Mail Centre, Auckland 1142, New Zealand;, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 2010-04-01

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