Type specimens

Barry M. OConnor bmoc at UMICH.EDU
Mon Apr 29 09:03:12 CDT 2002

>Doyle Chadwick wrote:

>... I've always assumed that only mature (definitive, as opposed to
>immature) specimens were used as type species specimens...

At 8:26 PM +1000 4/28/02, Robert Mesibov wrote:
>The Code regulating zoological nomenclature neither requires nor recommends
>matures. Taxonomists try to choose as type a specimen which has
>characteristics clearly distinguishing the new species from all already
>described species....

In some groups, such as chiggers, immatures are preferred (or at least it
appears as such, since over 90% of the species are described only from the
larva).  In this case, and in some other groups, the reason is that it is
the juvenile that is easily collected, i.e. chiggers are parasitic larvae
found on vertebrate animals - their post-larval stages are cryptic,
free-living animals.

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 umich.edu
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1079  USA

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