Lectotype rule change

christian thompson cthompson at SEL.BARC.USDA.GOV
Wed Jan 17 14:58:25 CST 2001

Yes, Mick is right.  There was a significant, but minor change in the CODE
on lectotype to satisfy vertebrate taxonomists who are afraid that careless
lectotype designations may upset nomenclature, not realizing the increased
burden placed on those working in entomology and other areas where the vast
majority of species are undescribed and the vast majority of old named
species described from multiple specimens are based on mixed series of
species. We have the dual problem of fixing the concept of the old name,
which has never been clearly defined as the group has never been revised,
etc., so as to get onto with the task of describing the new ones.

The other key point that Mick should have made clear is that each and every
lectotype designation requires a SEPARATE and "express statement."  However,
we can live this.  My standard statement is now:

This specimen is here designated lectotype so as to fix and stabilize the
current concept of the name and has been so labelled.

And yes, there have already been a number of invalid lectotype designations
published.  Most of these were in papers revising the types of such & such
collection of such & such group.

F. Christian Thompson
Systematic Entomology Lab., ARS, USDA
Smithsonian Institution
Washington, D. C. 20560-0169
(202) 382-1800 voice
(202) 786-9422 FAX
cthompso at sel.barc.usda.gov
visit our Diptera site at www.diptera.org

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