what becomes of "kleptotypes" if the holotype is destroyed?

Curtis Clark jcclark at CSUPOMONA.EDU
Sat Nov 8 17:25:44 CST 2003

At 17:26 2003-11-08 -0700, Mary Barkworth wrote:
>If an insect ate all but a
>small fragment of a holotype the bit of specimen that remains would
>still presumably be considered the holotype.

Hmmm. The Code aside, it seems to me that an important consideration has to
be establishing provenance. In that case, the fragment and the label would
be attached to the same sheet, and if the label were judged authentic, the
fragment would be the type. In the worst-case scenario of a kleptotype, a
portion of a specimen would exist that was tied to the holotype by legend
only (the holotype was gone, the alleged thief was dead, and only an
anecdote by a former student remained.

It seems to me that a portion of a holotype (stolen or not) adequately
labeled (whatever that means) is necessarily an isotype, at least, and
would be a prime candidate for lectotype. A plant specimen without an
adequate label is a "piece of trash".

Curtis Clark                  http://www.csupomona.edu/~jcclark/
Biological Sciences Department            Voice: +1 909 869 4062
California State Polytechnic University     FAX: +1 909 869 4078
Pomona CA 91768-4032  USA                  jcclark at csupomona.edu

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