Note 8 - Editorial gaffes in Konings' (1999) TFH article Editorial gaffes in Konings' (1999) TFH article
Konings (1999) described three new species of Copadichromis, the Utaka cichlids that live in shoals and feed on zooplankton.

As usual, Konings's paper is magnificently illustrated with his incomparable underwater color photographs. Probably, the ability to print color photos together with his descriptions was one reason why he elected to publish the new species in TFH.

Unfortunately, the published article is marred by multiple flaws introduced by the magazine's editors. The pagination is fragmented by numerous advertising pages so that correct citation of the interrupted pages is awkward. Two of the three species name headings were not typeset in boldface italics, making it difficult to locate where their descriptions start. A photograph of a lower jaw (p. 82) is mislabled as a pharyngeal jaw. Most seriously, the key to species (p. 84) was mangled so that both alternatives of couplet 8 were typeset on the same line (the first alternative should have ended "arch......9" and the second alternative should begin with "18"). Similarly, both alternatives of couplet 9 were also set on the same line (the first alternative should have ended "arch......10" and the second alternative should begin with "22").

Such sloppy handling of a primary contribution to the permanent taxonomic record by the magazine is simply inexcusable. One hopes that none of Konings' excellent photographs were transposed and miscaptioned. Is it any wonder that most professional systematic biologists frown on the publication of new taxa in hobbyist publications despite the lure of color photography?


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Last Update: 1 May 1999
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