Holotype selection criteria

Fabio Moretzsohn fabio at FALCON.TAMUCC.EDU
Thu Dec 2 15:00:45 CST 2004

I have to admit that the message I sent yesterday about holotype selection
made me sound completely clueless. Despite contrary evidence from that
message, I am familiar with the taxonomic practice. And I believe that the
holotype should be a typical specimen, close as possible to the average of
the range of variation of the species, and not an extreme .

What prompted me to write the ill-drafted posting was a quote from Winston
(1999: 173): "A type-specimen may or may not be typical of the species; the
important point is that it provides a fixed reference for the use of the
name (Jeffrey, 1989)."

I think a non-typical type is a poor selection, so I tried to come up with
some criteria that might be used to select such a type, and I wanted to know
how some of you might defend that point of view.

Winston, J.E. 1999. Describing Species. Practical Taxonomic Procedure for
Biologists. Columbia University Press, New York

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