subsequent designation of paratypes

Andrew Smith asmith at UNLSERVE.UNL.EDU
Fri Apr 5 09:09:08 CST 2002

Dear Barry,

I would say that if there is no evidence that the "paratypes" were
examined by the author for the original description then they should
not be considered as part of the type series.  If you do find
evidence (published or unpublished) that the specimens were examined
for the original description then they are indeed paratypes (see
Article  No explicit designation is needed in descriptions
published before 2000.

I would not presume that the "paratype" specimens were examined by
the author when writing the original descriptions unless you have
evidence that this occurred.  Many older authors  had a habit of
designating types after the fact!


>In zoology, can a paratype be designated in a paper subsequent to the one
>in which a species is described?  An author had the habit of publishing
>short diagnoses of new species, mentioning only the holotype.  In
>subsequent revisions, more complete descriptions were provided and many
>specimens were listed as paratypes, many with collection data different
>from those of the holotype.  In the absence of any information to the
>contrary, I presume these were actually examined by the author when writing
>the orignal diagnosis, so given the definitions in the ICZN, I would think
>these would be paratypes, despite the fact they were not mentioned in the
>first paper where the species was named.
>         Am I correct? - Barry
>So many mites, so little time!
>Barry M. OConnor
>Professor & Curator             phone: (734) 763-4354
>Museum of Zoology               FAX: (734) 763-4080
>University of Michigan          e-mail: bmoc at
>Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1079  USA

Andrew B. T. Smith
W436 Nebraska Hall
Division of Entomology
University of Nebraska State Museum
Lincoln, NE 68588-0514  U.S.A.

Phone:  (402) 472-2664
Fax:    (402) 472-8949
E-mail: asmith at


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