Allotypes in botany
Jan at PBC-THS1.PCI.CHEMIE.UNI-TUEBINGEN.DE
Fri Mar 1 09:36:16 CST 1996
>is of course always the danger that the allotype and the holotype might
>turn out to be of different species, but that problem can be dealt with.
>Does anyone here favor an ammendment to the ICBN to allow this?
Because of the danger you have recognized already and the confusion which
frequently arises from misinterpreted mixed types (which are called
SYNTYPES or COTYPES in botany), I would prefer to keep the code as it is in
We have in fact to deal with two issues, viz. typification and description.
A (HOLO-)TYPE does not need to be complete, especially typical, or
whatsoever, it just must under all circumstances and in every respect
represent the name which is based on it (i.e. belong to the taxon which is
named). A DESCRIPTION should be complete, accurate, precise, and
unambiguous. If parts which are missing in the HOLOTYPE are described after
additional specimens, this should be noted in the protologue, and the
additional specimens should become PARATYPES. Provisions for such treatment
are made in the code(I,BN). This allows complete description (using
PARATYPES if necessary) and unambiguous typification (the name is still
exclusively based on the HOLOTYPE) at the same time.
PS: If the plant is monoecious and you collect fragments with male and
female flowers/fruits from the *same* individual, they need not be
designated as PARATYPES but can be mounted on the same sheet and be called
a single HOLOTYPE, or if they are too large, one sheet is the HOLOTYPE and
the other(s) is/are an/ ISOTYPE(S). Problems (which I would call such) can
arise only in dioecious plants. Here I would urgently recommend to do the
HOLO/PARATYPE distinction for the sake of peace among your successors!
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