inappropriate cotype/paratype designation?
Thu Mar 28 18:35:08 CST 2002
----- Original Message -----
From: "Doug Yanega" <dyanega at POP.UCR.EDU>
To: <TAXACOM at USOBI.ORG>
Sent: Thursday, March 28, 2002 6:11 PM
Subject: inappropriate cotype/paratype designation?
> A colleague has a question, and wanted to confirm his opinion on the
> 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]."
These would all constitute the type series in ICZN. One holotype [type] and
the rest paratypes.
> 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.
The term "cotype" has no standing within the ICZN - there is no such thing.
IF all of these slides, even though they do not have labels on them
designating them as holo or para types, are unambiguously and thus clearly
the original body of specimens mentioned in the original description, then
they are the type series. IF there is no way to tell which one was the
intended holotype, then they are all syntypes. From which it would be
appropriate to designate a lectotype which would make the others
> Given that the original descriptions each specify a single slide as
> being the type, and give label data sufficient to recognize it,
This is confusing. There can only be _one_ original description. IF among
the type series there is one specimens, even though lacking a specific
holotype (or type) label, that has a unique data label that matches the
text in the original description than that is the holotype and no other
action is necessary - except that a red label should be attached to it
referencing it as the type.
Charleston, SC - USA
> 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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