Type of Homo sapiens

Curtis Clark jcclark at CSUPOMONA.EDU
Fri Jan 5 13:23:24 CST 1996

At 10:54 AM 1/5/96 -1000, Neal Evenhuis wrote:
>. . . which I like to call "allowing lectotypification by accident".
>Examples from specimens in the BMNH: There are many cases where an author
>states in a publication: "the type of [place species here] is in the
>British Museum" when no "holotype" for that species ever existed in the
>BMNH, but a single specimen of a syntype series labeled as "TYPE" (with a
>red ring) did.

A similar thing happened to me concerning a plant.  A student and I
lectotypified (intentionally) a species, and as part of the discussion of
its taxonomic history, mentioned the type of a close relative.  Through
incomplete research we had assumed that the specimen of this related species
that we saw was the only type material, so we cited it as the holotype.  It
turned out that we had overlooked two other specimens, one of which was
clearly the one used by the author to write the description.  Simple
mistake, right?  But another worker, knowing of the other specimens, took
our citation as a lectotypification, and cited it as such in another work.
I still need to go back to the code and figure out how to straighten out the
situation (the ICBN at least used to have a provision ruling out arbitrary
selection of a lectotype).  I agree that lectotypification should have to be

Curtis Clark        http://www.sci.csupomona.edu/biology/clark/clark.htm
Biological Sciences Department                     Voice: (909) 869-4062
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona    FAX:   (909) 869-4396
Pomona CA 91768-4032                               jcclark at csupomona.edu

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