Holotype fragment (botany)

Paul van Rijckevorsel dipteryx at FREELER.NL
Thu Jan 12 14:08:42 CST 2006

Some notes:
* Art 9.1. A holotype of a name ... is the one specimen or illustration ...
used by the author, or designated by the author ..."
* A "fragment of a holotype" only deserves status as any kind of  type if it
is big enough to be a specimen (as defined in Art 8.2). A herbarium sheet
loses bits and pieces all the time (from molecules evaporating and up). If a
fragment is not big enough to be a specimen then it cannot be a isotype (Art
9.3). A more interesting point is whether the fragment remains part of the
"original material"  (Art 9 Note 2).
* What does "one herbarium" mean? The NHN is one organisation, with three
physical locations, each of which has its own herbarium abbreviation (L, U,
WAG). Is this one herbarium or are there three?

Hope this forwards the discussion,

----- Original Message -----
From: "Paul Kirk" <p.kirk at CABI.ORG>
Sent: Thursday, January 12, 2006 12:41 PM
Subject: Re: Holotype fragment (botany) [ Scanned for viruses ]

I do not find that the Code requires that the holotype is the "specimen used
by the author" - it is 'the element to which the name of a taxon is
permanently attached' (Art. 7.2) and an indication of this is required for
valid publication (Art. 37). If it is split (before or after the date of
effective publication of the name of the taxon to which it is permanently
attached), that element (those elements) which is not (are not) in the
herbarium/collection cited must be an isotype(s). If the name was published
before the requirement mandated by Art. 37.6 then they are all isotypes and
a lectotype should be required.

Or am I missing something here?


Dr Paul M. Kirk
CABI Bioscience
Bakeham Lane
Surrey TW20 9TY

tel. (+44) (0)1491 829023, fax (+44) (0)1491 829100, email p.kirk at cabi.org

-----Original Message-----
From: Taxacom Discussion List [mailto:TAXACOM at LISTSERV.NHM.KU.EDU]On
Behalf Of Guido Mathieu
Sent: 12 January 2006 10:44
Subject: [TAXACOM] Holotype fragment (botany) [ Scanned for viruses ]

By definition the holotype is the specimen used by the author to describe
taxon. When a part of that holotype is split of at that time (or later on)
transferred to another herbarium, it still is material used to describe the
taxon and thus fits the definition. Art. 8.1 of the ICBN states that the
holotype is 'a single specimen conserved in one herbarium' and for that
the separated material might be called an isotype (though effectively used
the first description and evidently deserving some other 'status' than
not seen by the author). The ICBN also states that 'a specimen is usually
mounted on a single herbarium sheet' (art. 8.2). As 'usually' is 'not
the exceptions are clarified as 'a specimen may be mounted as more than one
preparation, as long as the parts are clearly labeled as being part of that
specimen (Art. 8.3). 'Clearly' may have different meanings depending on the
extend one is familiar with the concerning annotations but anyway the parts
to be in 'one herbarium' as says art. 8.1.
There remains some dispute whether this separated holotype part should be
a holotype fragment or an isotype. The term 'holotype fragment' (which is
the same as 'holotype' and clearly indicates a segregation act) is not
by the ICBN.

Guido Mathieu
Peperomia Research Group
Department of Biology
Ghent University
K.L. Ledeganckstraat 35,
B-9000 Gent. Belgium

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