inappropriate cotype/paratype designation?
dyanega at POP.UCR.EDU
Thu Mar 28 15:11:53 CST 2002
A colleague has a question, and wanted to confirm his opinion on the situation:
Consider a set of species descriptions, each of which reads
"Described from N specimens as follows - [a list follows, from
various dates and places]. Type on a slide which reads as follows -
[label data follows]."
A subsequent author comes along, finds the entire series of slides,
none of which actually has a type label, and therefore designates
them all as cotypes. A third author proposes designating a lectotype
from each series, and calls the other slides paratypes.
Given that the original descriptions each specify a single slide as
being the type, and give label data sufficient to recognize it,
surely the designation of cotypes is completely inappropriate? Or is
there some possible complication engendered by the original author
failing to label the type slide, therefore leaving the slim
possibility that even though the label data match, the slide in
question is NOT the one intended as type? Further, is it not also
true that - regardless of the other issue - the remaining slides
containing all the other N specimens upon which the description is
based (and which have data that does not match the putative type
slide) can't even be considered paratypes, but instead have no status
at all (being, essentially, "other material examined")?
Doug Yanega Dept. of Entomology Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California - Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521
phone: (909) 787-4315 (standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
"There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82
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