ICBN - Lectotypification

Torbjörn Tyler Torbjorn.Tyler at SYSBOT.LU.SE
Wed Jul 31 08:19:32 CDT 2002

As far as I understand the Code, material that can be shown to have been used by the describing author should be PREFERRED when selecting lectotypes, but since there are many cases when it is impossible to know exactly which duplicates (isosyntypes) an author has really seen, or when the isosyntypes that were kept by the author in his own herbarium are known or suspected to be lost, the Code gives us the POSSIBILITY to choose among all isosyntypes when selecting lectotypes.

However, in your particular case, lectotypes have allready been selected and this choice has to be followed as long as you cannot prove that the lectotypes differ taxonomically from the material in the describing author's own herbarium. You may critisize the lectotypifying author, and if the material of the describing authors own herbarium was known and available for him I would like to say that he made a bad choise, but you will certainly do that yourself some day...

Have I got it wrong?

Torbjörn Tyler

At 14.37 +0200 on 2002-07-30, Ted Oliver wrote:

> I was brought up with the understanding that lectotypes had to be selected >from among the original material cited in the protologue, i.e. seen and used by the author - - perfectly acceptable.  But not so now!
> I work on a large genus of plants in which 100 species were described in Flora capensis (1905) by two amateur workers in Cape Town. In many cases they cited syntypes which were in their own herbaria, either their own collections or duplicates given to them by other collectors. In the last full revision of the genus in 1965, Dulfer of Vienna tackled the syntypes and selected duplicates of these 'other collectors' which were given by those collectors themselves or European herbaria to Vienna, as lectotypes, i.e. material never consulted by the authors in Cape Town.
> I had hoped to change this selection to the authors' own herbarium material using the 'Guide to determination of types' at the ends of the code and the recommendations up until Sydney Code 1983. But then the Berlin Code 1988 left this guide out and seemed to rely solely on the Recommendation 9A3-"any indication of intent by the author should be given preference  .... manuscript notes, annotations on herb sheets ...."
> But then came the shock of the St Louis Code 2000 in which a special new note is appended to explain what the drafters really thought original material, from which to make selections, actually is  "those specimens even if not seen by the author .......  isosyntypes of the name irrespective of whether such specimens were seen by ... the author of the name".  This seems to go totally against the wording of Recommendation 9A3 which is fortunately still retained. 
> Well, well, this seems as though the poor authors have been totally overlooked. This is to me a gross injustice to authors and defeats the rest of the code which is supposed to try to respect the original publication and typification of names.
> So should I ignore the note and follow the Recommendation!
> As my children would so aptly say  .....  the St Louis Code sucks!
> Cheers
> Ted Oliver
> ----------------------------------------------------------------
> Dr. E.G.H. Oliver
> Compton Herbarium  (NBG)
> Kirstenbosch Research Centre
> National Botanical Institute
> 7735  CAPE TOWN
> e-mail:  oliveregh at nbict.nbi.ac.za
> Tel.  021 799 8724
> http://www.nbi.ac.za/research/comptonherbarium.htm
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Torbjörn Tyler   /  Projekt Skånes Flora

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