Non type specimens

Wed Sep 1 18:45:28 CDT 2004

Dear Livio,

> is it usual to use, besides holotype and paratypes, morphometric and
> meristic characters of nontype specimens in the description of a new
> species? Is the description valid?
 From the (admittedly limited) part of the literature I've seen, I'd
say that's unusual. This may be so because there can be few good
reasons for excluding specimens from the type material that one is
using in the description. If you are basing your diagnosis of the new
taxon in part on a certain specimen, why would you want to exclude it
from being a para-(or syn-)type?

However, in zoological nomenclature I don't think the formal validity
of a name proposed under such circumstances would be affected, as long
as the existing criteria are met.


Martin Spies
c/o Zoologische Staatssammlung Muenchen

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