This made me wonder how many other family-level non-neornithine theropod taxa are nomina nuda. Specifically, Article 13 states family-level taxa named after 1930 need "a description or definition that states in words characters that are purported to differentiate the taxon" or a bibliographic reference to such a statement (note I think a phylogenetic definition counts as a definition). They can also "be proposed expressly as a new replacement name (nomen novum) for an available name, whether required by any provision of the Code or not." However, Article 13.2.1 states "A family-group name first published after 1930 and before 1961 which does not satisfy the provisions of Article 13.1 is available from its original publication only if it was used as valid before 2000, and also was not rejected by an author who, after 1960 and before 2000, expressly applied Article 13 of the then current editions of the Code." Also, Article 13.5 states that if a family-level name and nominal genus are proposed in the same work, one definition/diagnosis will do. Before 1931, the rules are less strict, and any family named from a valid genus was considered valid (Article 12.2.4). The groups are listed as families below for simplicity, though some have only been explicitly proposed as subfamilies.
Valid due to definition/diagnoses- Herrerasauridae, Staurikosauridae, Guaibasauridae, Protoavidae, Dilophosauridae sensu Madsen and Welles 2000, Noasauridae, Velocisauridae, Abelisauridae, Carnotauridae, Streptospondylidae, Eustreptospondylidae, Torvosauridae, Baryonychidae, Irritatoridae, Sigilmassasauridae, Sinraptoridae, Metriacanthosauridae, Neovenatoridae, Giganotosauridae, Iliosuchidae, Shanshanosauridae, Albertosauridae, Sinosauropterygidae, Ornitholestidae, Bradycnemidae, Praeornithidae, Deinocheiridae, Harpymimidae, Garudimimidae, Alvarezsauridae, Parvicursoridae, Mononykidae, Alxasauridae, Therizinosauridae, Segnosauridae, Nanshiungosauridae, Caudipteridae and therefore Caudipteryidae, Elmisauridae, Avimimidae, Kuszholiidae, Ingeniidae, Saurornithoididae, Archaeornithoididae, Itemiridae, Unenlagiidae sensu Makovicky et al. 2005, Microraptoridae sensu Longrich and Currie 2009, Saurornitholestiidae, Velociraptoridae, Scansoriopterygidae, Jeholornithidae, Yandangithidae and therefore Yandangornithidae, Omnivoropterygidae, Sapeornithidae, Confuciusornithidae, Aberratiodontuidae, Cuspirostrisornithidae, Iberomesornithidae, Protopterygidae, Alexornithidae, Enantiornithidae sensu Nessov 1984, Longipterygidae, Longirostravisidae, Alethoalaornithidae, Avisauridae, Boluochidae, Concornithidae, Eoenantiornithidae, Gobipterygidae, Cathayornithidae, Liaoningornithidae, Hongshanornithidae, Patagopterygidae, Songlingornithidae, Yanornithidae, Yixianornithidae, Eurolimnornithidae, Limnornithidae Kessler and Jurcsak 1984, Zhyraornithidae, Gansuidae, Plegadornithidae, Angelinornithidae, Asiahesperornithidae, Ambiortidae.
Valid due to being named between 1931 and 1960 and used as valid before 2000- Halticosauridae, Segisauridae, Bahariasauridae, Erectopodidae, Carcharodontosauridae, Antrodemidae, Caenagnathidae, Elopterygidae.
Valid due to being named before 1931- Coelophysidae, Podokesauridae, Procompsognathidae, Ceratosauridae, Megalosauridae, Spinosauridae, Allosauridae, Labrosauridae, Dryptosauridae, Tyrannosauridae, Aublysodontidae, Deinodontidae, Coeluridae, Compsognathidae, Ornithomimidae, Oviraptoridae, Troodontidae, Dromaeosauridae, Ornithodesmidae, Archaeopterygidae, Archaeornithidae, Ichthyornithidae, Enaliornithidae, Baptornithidae, Hesperornithidae.
Invalid- Dilophosauridae Charig and Milner 1990, Acrocanthosauridae, Unquillosauridae (in a thesis), Erlikosauridae, Rahonavidae, Unenlagidae Bonaparte 1999, Microraptorinae Makovicky et al. 2005, Enantiornithidae Nessov and Borkin 1983, Sinornithidae, Chaoyangidae, Chaoyangornithidae, Limnornithidae Kessler 1984, Palaeocursornithidae, Apsaravidae.
The only ones which are commonly used today are Unenlagidae (as Unenlagiinae) and Microraptoridae (as Microraptorinae), but these should be attributed to Makovicky et al. (2005) and Longrich and Currie (2009) respectively.
Unknown, as I lack the papers- Syntarsiidae (Kalandadze and Rautian, 1991),
Note Torvosauridae is at least valid under Kurzanov (1989), Struthiomimidae under Kaiser (2007), and Enantiornithidae under Nessov (1984) though. If anyone wants to send the references to me (at Mickey_Mortimer111@msn.com), I'd be grateful.
Thanks to Jerry Harris for providing a few of the references. Torvosauridae is valid due to a diagnosis. Palaeocursornithidae is invalid since it's just a name in a taxonomic list. Enantiornithidae is also invalid for Nessov and Borkin 1983, since they merely refer to PO 3494 (a proximal tarsometatarsus) as being a member of that family, without comment.
Hou, Zhou, Zhang and Gu, 2002. Mesozoic birds from western Liaoning in China. ISBN 7-5381-3392-5. 120 pp.
Jensen, 1985. Uncompahgre dinosaur fauna: A preliminary report. Great Basin Naturalist. 45, 710-720.
Jurcsak and Kessler, 1988. Evolutia avifaunei pe teritoriul Romaneie. III . Filogenie si sistematica. Cistia. 18, 647-688.
Kalandadze and Rautian, 1991. Late Triassic zoogeography and reconstruction of the terrestrial tetrapod fauna of North Africa. Paleont. Journ. 1, 1-12.
Nessov and Borkin, 1983. New records of bird bones from Cretaceous of Mongolia and Middle Asia. Trudy Zoologicheskogo Instituta AN SSSR. 116, 108-110.
Ostrom, 1972. Dinosaur. in McGraw-Hill Yearbook, Science and Technology. 176-179.