Mon Dec 18 07:19:00 CST 1995

The term paratype is, under Art. 9.5 of the Tokyo Code, any specimen cited in
the original publication other than those declared to be the holotype or
isotype(s). This term, and others, were moved from a separate portion of the
Code where these terms were given formal definitions but were not part of the
Code in the sense that they were in articles.

By and large, one cites, under the general heading of paratypes (if one wishes
to use such a term) those elements considered to be characteristic of the new
taxon. Specimens which are not representative should not be listed under this
formal heading. Specimens listed in the original paper as "intermediate to
xxx" would not be considered paratypes because they would not be cited in the
protologue in the strict sense of that term. However, one can easily take any
cited element to be a paratype no matter the condition placed upon it.

The idea of paratypes relates to the problem of "original material" which, as
one can see from its definition, applies to material not even seen by the
original author (e.g., uncited duplicates of the holotype). Specimens cited
under some heading like "intermediate to xxx" would be considered original
material, but in the hierarcy of things, should be well down the list of
potential lectotypes.

>From a practical point of view paratypes are generally of little significance
in current systematic practice. One has the holotype, then a series of
isotypes. Should something happen to the holotype and all of the isotypes then
the paratypes would have to be taken into consideration when designating a
lectotype. Even if one were to conclude that those mentioned as "intermediate
to xxx" were available paratypes, it is not likely one would be selected over
a collection not so designated. Also, if the only available paratype is not
characteristic of the taxon, it is now possible to conserve the name with a
conserved type.

I would urge the author to list, under the heading to paratype, only those
specimens that individual felt would make a good lectotype, and then exclude
the others to a lesser category. Certainly, some future worker would respect
this opinion if it became necessary to designate a lectotype in the future.

As for the practice of pulling paratypes, it is useful when no type has been
designated (e.g., syntypes), but once a lectotypification has happened,
depending upon the historical importance of the sheets in questions, it seems
to me the paratype can return to the general collection.

                                        Jim Reveal (MARY)

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