Non type specimens

Robin Leech releech at TELUSPLANET.NET
Thu Sep 2 11:41:19 CDT 2004

Ya know, the ICZN was developed so that people would read it,
not have to interpret it, and all come out with the same process to
an answer. Sometimes discussion should occur as to the better of
other possible approaches, but the path and direction are laid out.

This does not seem to be happening, as not all seem to read, or are
at least not familiar with the ICZN.  And I do hope that all the animal
taxonomists (systematists) do have the ICZN, that the bacteriologists
have and read theirs, and that the botanists have and read theirs.

I guess I was one of the last of a lucky few who had a professor who
took us through the ICZN (at that time, the 3rd edition).  Thank you,
George Ball.

I can designate a holotype, I can select and designate a few paratypes
from a large collection before me.  I can note the extremes in size,
length, weight, width, color variation, etc., and I can give averages.
I can note peculiarities and apparent anomalies, but not designate
them for paratype status.  This is the easy stuff.

The hairy stuff is trying to sort out taxonomic messes of synonymies
and related problems.  You really do have to be a detective.  Many
looked upon Article 23b in the 3rd edition of the ICZN as being
a god-send.  It meant that if names existed for 50 or more years, and
were not picked up in anything except bibliographies, you could rename
species.  It also meant, in the eyes of some, that your detective digging
did not have to be as deep or as good.  I was very happy when it was
repealed on 3 December 1970.

Buy the book, read it, understand it.  If you don't understand a section
in the ICZN (or the equivalents in the other fields), ask on TAXACOM.
This is where we should all be able to shine in the eyes of the new comers.
This is what we are here for.

I am asking a rhetorical question: what did zoologists do before 1960?

Robin Leech

----- Original Message -----
From: "Cristiano Moreira" <cmoreira at IB.USP.BR>
Sent: Thursday, September 02, 2004 11:27 AM
Subject: Re: Non type specimens

I don't see why not. Actually, there is nothing in the code that prevents
you from excluding any material used in the description from the
type-series. It even states that "The type series of a nominal species-group
taxon consists of all the specimens included by the author in the new
nominal taxon (whether directly or by bibliographic reference), EXCEPT ANY
distinct variants, OR doubtfully attributes to the taxon" (Article 72.4.1).
As far as this decision is made explicit (Recommendation 72B).


On Wed, 1 Sep 2004 18:04:29 +0200, Livio Leoni <livsuperleo at YAHOO.IT> wrote:

>Dear taxacomers,
>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?
>best regards
>Livio Leoni Dr.
>24047 Treviglio (BG)

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