subsequent designation of paratypes

christian thompson cthompson at SEL.BARC.USDA.GOV
Fri Apr 5 10:21:21 CST 2002

Sorry, Ron, but you should read the CODE.

Paratypes, paralectotypes, etc. have NO status as nomenclatural types.  If
the primary types (holo-, lecto-, neo-, syntypes) are lost, then ANY
specimen may be selected as a NEOTYPE. And once a paratype, paralectotype,
etc., the  specimen remain as such, they DO NOT become syntypes if the
primary type(s) are lost! They may become a neotype if selected, but nothing

Yes, the current edition of the Code remains poorly written in this regard.
Yes, by mentioning secondary types the Code does semm to imply that they may
be of some importance, but its regulations clearly indicate that they have
NO nomenclatural significant. Their significance is only a taxonomic
vouchers. I can only hope that the next group who revises the ICZN eliminate
all mention of these secondary types as clearly people mis-read the current

Oh, well ... It is Friday...


>>> Ron Gatrelle <gatrelle at> 04/05 10:06 AM >>>

----- Original Message -----
From: "christian thompson" <cthompson at>
To: <gatrelle at TILS-TTR.ORG>; <TAXACOM at USOBI.ORG>
Sent: Friday, April 05, 2002 9:35 AM
Subject: Re: subsequent designation of paratypes

> And WHO cares?
> Types are nomenclatural anchors. The ICZN clearly states this and
> only Holotype, Lectotype, Neotype and Syntypes (and yes, those
> Hapantotypes). Allotypes and Paratypes have nothing to do with
> and are nothing more than glorified vouchers. So, why worry whether they
> "paratypes" or not, the important issue is that they are VOUCHERs
> by the original author. Be sure to label them as such.

The Code cares.   Which is why paratypes and paralectotypes are mentioned
in the ZN Code.  Why are they mentioned?  Because they have official
status.  Why is that?  Because in the absence (or future destruction) of a
holotype they are (become) syntypes and from there lectotypes - including
paralectotypes.   Without paratypes there are no, and can be no syntypes
lectotypes after a holotype is destroyed/lost (if a new "type" is called
for).  Then we have to go to neotypification.   All syntypes are are
paratypes (specimens mentioned in the OD) that are such only in the
of a holotype.  And all a lectotype is is an elevated syntype.

If they are not relevant and have no use (who cares) why did you keep
with and delineate) them in the current Code?  I think your comment was
Pluss, you are flat out wrong.  You say "Allotypes and Paratypes have
nothing to do with nomenclature."  The only allotypes are "not regulated
the Code."  Paratypes are (73D).

In respectful disagreement.
Ron Gatrelle

> Cheers
> 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 [NB: no terminal "n"]
> visit our Diptera site at
> >>> Ron Gatrelle <gatrelle at TILS-TTR.ORG> 04/05 9:10 AM >>>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Thomas Pape" <thomas.pape at NRM.SE>
> Sent: Friday, April 05, 2002 8:28 AM
> Subject: Re: subsequent designation of paratypes
> > > ...given the definitions in the ICZN, I would think
> > > these would be paratypes, despite the fact they were not mentioned
> the
> > > first paper where the species was named.
> >         Am I correct? - Barry
> >
> > No.
> > Paratypes are specimens of a type series other than the holotype. The
> type
> > series contains those specimens explicitly included by the author -
> directly
> > or by bibliographic reference. If the author mentions only a holotype
> there
> > will be no paratypes.
> >
> > Thomas Pape
> > Naturhistoriska riksmuseet
> A second No - and ditto.
> Ron Gatrelle
> TILS president
> Charleston, SC - USA

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