Photographs as types

Lammers lammers at FMNH785.FMNH.ORG
Tue Dec 19 08:26:28 CST 1995

I have taken the view that there is no substantive difference between a
photograph and a drawing or painting, i.e., that for the purposes of the
ICBN, all are illustrations.  The destruction of the Berlin herbarium in
1943 has necessitated in many cases that the photographs taken by Field
Museum of specimens there be subsequently designated to replace lost
holotypes.  See: Taxon 43: 545-572 (1994); Taxon 35: 932-934 (1986);
and ASC Newsletter 8: 61-70 (1980).  In my own work, this has sometimes
been necessary because there is no other extant material, original or
otherwise, that matches the protologue and is referable to the name.

Now, here is my question:  Can a photograph that was never seen by the
author of the name be considered original material and thus be a lecto-
type, or would it be a neotype?  Given that it is an exact replica of the
specimen, some would argue that it *is* original material.  Given that
the original author never saw it, others argue not.

Thomas G. Lammers
Assistant Curator
Field Museum of Natural History
Chicago IL 60605-2496 USA

lammers at

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