whittemo at MOBOT.MOBOT.ORG
Thu Mar 23 13:17:54 CST 1995
On Thu, 23 Mar 1995 beach at VIOLET.BERKELEY.EDU wrote:
> ... I am not clear on what the process of epitypification in
> the new Botanical Code of Nomenclature is meant to accomplish. I
> understand that it specifies the appropriate binomial to use in some
> sense, but it is it associated with a formal registration process of
> say a single, consensus classification?
> Would you or any other botanists familiar with this recent development
> in the code be willing to comment on the conceptual/practical issues
> this new process solves or creates?
The original description and justification for the new epitype
provision in the ICBN is presented by Barrie in Taxon 40: 667-668 (where
he calls it a "protype"). In brief, it is designed for cases
where the holotype, or all surviving original material, lacks structures
necessary for identification, so that the application of the name is
ambiguous. This is common with older names (Barrie was
working on the Linnaean typification project at the time), and prior to
the Tokyo code it was necessary to formally propose such names for
conservation with an altered type. The epitypification provision allows
an identifiable specimen to be designated as a supplemental type to fix
the application of the name, thus avoiding the long delays and the committee
work necessary for formal conservation.
You ask about the "conceptual/practical issues" involved. As far
as I can see, it is purely a practical provision, and I don't see that it
raises any new conceptual points.
Yours truly, Alan Whittemore
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