A Question

A. Contreras-Ramos atilano at IBIOLOGIA.UNAM.MX
Sat May 31 16:58:42 CDT 1997

I suggest you ask the author which of the two sexes offers better
diagnostic characters (e.g., species specific traits) for species
determination.  The fact that the male was illustrated suggests that it
might show more diagnostic traits and so it may be a better holotype.
Another issue is whether the author has a positive association of male
and female of the new species (another reason for using the most
morphologically distinct sex as holotype).  Indeed the case appears

>>As an associate editor of The Canadian Entomologist, I recently received
>>a manuscript wherein a female beetle is designated as the holotype, and a
>>diagnosis is given of the holotype, but drawings are provided for one of
>>the paratypes, a male.
>>I have checked locally with two taxonomists, both of whom feel it is
>>unusual, and that the author(s) should be asked about this.
>>Does anyone out there have any comments on this sort of thing?  The ICZN,
>>in Recommendation 17, states merely "The description of a new taxon of
>>the species-group should be accompanied by a satisfactory illustration or
>>by a bibliographic reference to such an illustration."  I am presuming
>>that "...a bibliographic reference to such an illustration." could only
>>come from a situation such as "Xys yus in part", where drawings included
>>what we now know to be more than one species.  Thus, drawings 1-3 are of
>>species Xys yus, and 4-6 are of Xys somethingelseus.
>>Otherwise, how could there be existing, published drawings of the new
>>species being described?
>>Robin Leech

Atilano Contreras-Ramos
Instituto de Biologia, Zoologia, UNAM;
Apdo. Postal 70-153; 04510 Mexico, D.F.; MEXICO.
tel. (525) 622-5705, -5706; ext. 286
fax (525) 550-0164
atilano at ibiologia.unam.mx
species at servidor.unam.mx
The importance of purely geographic-spatial
isolation in speciation is beyond question.
W. Hennig.

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