Non type specimens

Paul van Rijckevorsel dipteryx at FREELER.NL
Thu Sep 2 18:12:20 CDT 2004

A supplementary note:
- AFAIK there is nothing in the ICBN that requires the (diagnosis or)
description to be based on the type. There is nothing to stop anybody from
writing up a complete description of a new species out in the field and only
upon leaving pick a few herbarium sheets worth to represent the type (Prior
to 1 January 1958 the latter was not a requirement). As there are many
plants that are to big to be put in a herbarium it is understood  that many
measurements are not verifiable by checking the type anyway ("tree of 30 to
40m high", "leafs to 4m long", etc).

Actually, I seem to recall journals actively discouraging (even forbidding)
long listings of "material seen" (and these do affect the circumscription of
the taxon) as taking up too much space.

Under the ICBN a description cannot be "valid". Names can be validly
published: a "description or diagnosis" is a requirement for the name to be

From: Martin Spies <spies at ZI.BIOLOGIE.UNI-MUENCHEN.DE>
> A significant amount of the replies (including my own) to Livio's
> question remains speculation as long as we don't even know what realm
> of the living world his organisms come from, thus which nomenclature
> Code and standard of practice applies.
> However, regardless of the above, I don't believe it is helpful to
> post an opinion that comes across like authoritative advice when
> instead it is imprecise in the facts and based on an outdated source.
> Livio's questions were two (CAPITALS by myself):
> >> 1) Is it USUAL to use, besides holotype and paratypes, morphometric and
meristic characters of nontype specimens in the description of a new
> >> 2) Is the description VALID?

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