Types of 'types'

John Bruner jbruner at GPU.SRV.UALBERTA.CA
Mon Nov 13 11:45:33 CST 2000

On Mon, 13 Nov 2000, Roger J. Burkhalter wrote:
> ... My question is this...do I include all of these tertiary 'types'
> in our lists? As I see it, it would make a searchable on-line database slower
> to search and a published catalogue a lot thicker (guestamates of 20,000-
> 25,000 additional specimens). On the other hand, adding these items to the
> total would 'level the playing field' with other collections in a competative
> funding arena.
> ...
> Roger J. Burkhalter
> Curatorial Specialist, Invertebrate Paleontology
> Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History
> University of Oklahoma, Norman

        As the author of the published type catalogues for the fossil vertebrate
collections of the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, Illinois, I
suggest you only list Holotypes, Paratypes, Cotypes, Neotypes, and
paralectotypes.  And, yes, you should follow the ICZN. You need a
recognized standard for defining what is a type and what is not.  I have
seen publications in supposedly reputable journals where the author listed
his holotype and paratype specimens, and then proceeded to use additional
specimens for giving characters and morphometrics in the original
description.  If the original authors do not understand what a type is for
a new species, then you need a standard to point to so the people using
your catalogue can judge your criteria.

* Mr. John C. Bruner                                 *
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