Lectotype designations

christian thompson cthompson at SEL.BARC.USDA.GOV
Mon Jan 29 11:23:00 CST 2001

In reference to David Rider's comment, which I wholly endorse:

The problem of lectotype designations by the assumption of holotype was
addressed directly in Article 74.6 and is not valid procedure after 1999.

On Article 74.7 I will accept part of the blame as I was part of the
Editorial Committee. The IMPROVEment that obviously most object to it the
requirement of a statement of one's TAXONOMIC intent (Art. 74.7.3) but there
seems to be no discussion about the equally important addition that the
designation "contain information sufficient to ensure recognition of the
specimen designated" [Art. 74.7.2]

So, if we are going to give "sufficient information" about each lectotype
to "ensure its recognition" is it that difficult to add 6 little words more
["...to fix and stabilize the concept..." or 10 for Pulawski's  "in order to
ensure the name's proper and consistent application"] to our designations?

David Rider's comment about the ballots in Florida is excellent as the
potential problem is knowing the intent of a worker who may have used the
term "lectotype" in a careless fashion in a scientific publication would
remain a problem without Art. 74.7.

Also, on Pulawski's added example of

>Consequently, lectotype designations made by a non-specialist with a
>like "here designated in order to have as many primary types in this
collection as possible and thus to facilitate the >taxonomic work of
specialists working here" will be in agreement with the Code, even if the
sex of the lectotype and >the label information are not provided

I can not agree that this will be valid as Art. 74.7.2 (which requires
sufficient information to recognize, that is, label data) and Art. 74.7.3
requires a TAXONOMIC purpose, which designating as many primary types as
possible is NOT one.

What this example reveals is why we need the improved wording of Art. 74.7

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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