Stuart G. Poss sgposs at SEAHORSE.IMS.USM.EDU
Sun Apr 11 11:39:33 CDT 1999


Are there now changes to Articles 73 and 74 in the New Code (4th

According to the official website, a A Fourth Edition of the Code is in
course of preparation for publication in mid-1999 and will come into
effect on 1 January 2000. The Third Edition will remain in force until
31 December 1999. Availability of the new edition will be widely

According to the website, the only changes made in this section are:

"   6. Lectotype designations made after 1999 will be required to use
the term "lectotype" or a direct translation of it, and be accompanied
by a statement to the effect that the designation is made with the
purpose of clarifying the application of the name to a taxon."

Thus, relying on my worn and sometimes, but hopefully not too often
abused 1985 copy of the Third Edition, Article 73 (b) (ii) clearly

"Specimens that were syntypes prior to the valid designation of a
lectotype [Art. 74] are no longer syntypes after such designation; by
that action they become lecctotype and paralectotypes (see
Recommendation 74F); the latter do not regain status as syntypes if the
lectotype is lost or destroyed."

The relevant section of Article 74 (a) (iv) states:

"The valid designation of a lectotype permanently deprives all specimens
that were formerly syntypes of that nominal taxon of the status of
syntype [Art. 73b (ii)]; those specimens then become paralectotypes.

Note the use of the words "permanently" and "all".  It would be possible
for them to remain syntypes, but not of the nominal species in question,
if they also represented the syntypes of yet another nominal species.  I
would be interested to learn if anyone knows of such cases.

Accordingly, RECOMMENDATION 74F, reads 'Paralectotypes. -- An author who
designates a lectotype should clearly label each former syntype with the
designation "paralectotype".'

According to my copy, Recommendation 74E, reads, "Verification of
locality.--When selecting a lectoype the reviser should carefully verify
the accuracy of the lcoality ascribed to it because it becomes the type


>         Although I almost always agree with everything Dr. Stuart Poss says, I
> cannot agree with his statement that syntypes stop becoming syntypes when a
> lectotype is desginated.
>         The syntypes remain syntypes as they were
> designated by the original author of the species.  However, the members of
> the syntype series that are not part of the "Lectotype" now have a new
> designation aplied to them, namely, "Paralectotypes."  Article 74.
> Lectotypes.  Recommendation 74E.  Paralectotypes.  A zoologist who
> designates a lectotype should clearly lavbel any remaining syntypes with the
> designation "paralectotype."

Stuart G. Poss                       E-mail: sgposs at
Senior Research Scientist & Curator  Tel: (228)872-4238
Gulf Coast Research Laboratory       FAX: (228)872-4204
P.O. Box 7000
Ocean Springs, MS  39566-7000

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