lectotypificatioin rules

Sat Mar 1 06:40:49 CST 1997

Proposals on lectotypifications

I have  two ammendments  I would  like to  see adopted to the
ICBN, both  dealing with  typification  rules.  Comments  are

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.

   This is  necessary because  I have  seen many typification
statements saying nothing more than "T:K" or "T: in Herbarium
Herbert" or  something as  vacuous as  that. One  must wonder
whether the  author actually  saw lectotype  material  or  is
merely saying  "The author  was at  K, so  if  there  is  any
original material  it is  probably at K, but I did not bother
to check."  Article 37.3 contains similar language concerning
holotypes, but  nowhere does it mandate what information must
be contained in a neo- or lectotypification.

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.

   This would  make life infinitely easier for people dealing
with older  names. 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.  I  forget
whether it  was John  MacNeil or  James Reveal  who explained
this to  me. As  I  remember  his  explanation,  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.
   My proposal  would do  two 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;  and 2) save people the time
and  effort   of   publishing   statements   declaring   such
illustrations to be types.

Dr. Joseph E. Laferriere, 4717 E First St., Tucson AZ 85711 USA
JosephL at aztec.asu.edu

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