Thomas Pape thomas.pape at NRM.SE
Thu May 14 20:42:45 CDT 1998

Thomas Schlemmermeyer wrote:

12 May 1998:

>So I may ask: A type really has to be an eternal, sacred thing? or would
>it be more useful to adapt types to modern industrial DINs or ISOs or
>norms and simply put a date of validity on it?

12 May 1998:

>Now, I wonder whether it would make any sense to put such
>expiring dates on biological types as well.

The "biological types" in question are the name-bearing standards to which
we refer when naming species-group taxa. We consider this a way of promoting

A name-bearing type 'expires' when it does no longer exist, or if it is
suppressed by the plenary power of the nomenclatural authorities ('the
Commission'), in which case the type may be replaced according to accepted

Considering the number of name-bearing types already in existence and the
expected future increase, expiring dates may seem an unnecessary burden, not
to mention the chaos coming from unavoidable errors when selecting
replacement types.

Thomas Pape

Thomas Pape
Department of Entomology
Swedish Museum of Natural History
Box 50007
SE - 104 05 Stockholm
thomas.pape at nrm.se

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