Use of type specimens

Mary Barkworth stipoid at CC.USU.EDU
Fri Nov 8 11:12:43 CST 1996

I see no reason why the situation is different for molecular systematic
study.  Types fix interpretation of a name.  If one wants to be certain of
the name to apply to a taxon, one must examine the relevant types in terms
of the characters used to delimit the taxa.  The problem, of course, is
destructive sampling - but that is a practical question that applies equally
to taxa for which the critical characters are anatomical.  It is also a
somewhat different question from that which you posed.  So count me as one
who is emphatically of the opinion that the nature of the characters
involved is irrelevant; if one wants to check the application of names,
types must be examined, and one needs to know how much variability is
encompassed within a single taxon.  This last should be determined before
examining the type.


Mary Barkworth
Intermountain Herbarium
Utah State University
Logan, Utah 84322-5305

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