proposal to change ICBN, II

Thu Apr 3 09:19:58 CST 1997

Below are two more proposals to alter the ICBN. I posted these
a few months ago in a more informal manner, but received no
feeback. I would very much appreciate opinions before
submitting these formally.

Proposals on lectotypifications

I. Article  9.15. Mere  citation of the place of conservation
of a  type or the locale at which the type was collected does
not  constitute   effective  typification.  The  specimen  or
illustration must  be  designated  in  sufficient  detail  to
distinguish it  from other specimens and illustrations at the
institution,  e.g.  by  citation  of  collector's  name  plus
collection number,  or by  institutional accession number, or
some other detail unique to the specimen or illustration.

   Article  37.3   contains   similar   language   concerning
holotypes, but  nowhere does it mandate what information must
be contained  in a  neo- or  lectotypification. Many apparent
lectotypification statements  currently in  print say nothing
more in  print than the location of the type. One must wonder
whether the  author actually  saw lectotype  material  or  is
merely speculating  that if  such material exists, it must be
at the institution indicated.

II. Article  9.16. If,  in the  case of  a taxon at the genus
level or  below published  on or before 31 December 1957, the
description is accompanied by a published illustration but no
designation  of   type,   the   published   illustration   is
automatically considered  lectotype unless  original specimen
material can be located to supercede it.

   Such an  illustration published  as part of the protologue
quite obviously represents the author's concept of the taxon,
yet it  cannot be  declared lectotype  unless it can be shown
that the author saw only the illustration and did not examine
any specimens.  Priority on  lectotypes goes as follows: 1) a
syntype, or 2) an isotype, if one exists. The words "syntype"
and "isotype" are both explicitly defined as being specimens,
not illustrations.  An illustration is not eligible unless it
is the  only original  material. Thus  all it  can  be  is  a
neotype, which  means  it  cannot  supplant  another  neotype
designated somewhere else.
   This proposal  would do  three things:  1) ensure that the
name corresponds  as closely  as  possible  to  the  original
author's intention,  in  the  absence  of  original  specimen
material, because  it would  give an  illustration  published
with the  protologue power  over neotypes; 2) save people the
time and  effort  of  publishing  statements  declaring  such
illustrations to  be types;  and 3)  ensure that  if original
specimen material  is indeed  available, it  would  still  be
possible  to   use  it  as  type  instead  of  the  published
illustration. If  the illustration  is ambiguous and original
material is  unavailable, an  epitype could  be designated to
supplant it.

Dr. Joseph E. Laferriere, Herbario, CEAMISH, Universidad
Autonoma del Estado de Morelos, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico  -- OR --
c/o Mary Laferriere, 18 Maple Ave #3, Centerdale RI 02911 USA

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