Holotype fragment (botany)

Paul van Rijckevorsel dipteryx at FREELER.NL
Fri Jan 13 18:57:07 CST 2006

There are various differences between the botanical and zoological world.
The point we were discussing is that in botany one individual may become
several different specimens and therefore several different types, and that
this is mandatory if gatherings are made at different times. As I understand
it from you, in zoology one individual means one type, no matter what.

The practical reason for this will be that in botany it will be much more
common to have an individual that remains in a fixed place for a long while:
this allows different gatherings to be made at different times. It is much
less tempting to do this with animals: i.e. releasing them (minus the
collected parts) and then recatching them (to collect parts that could not
be collected the first time) .

From: "Richard Pyle" <deepreef at BISHOPMUSEUM.ORG>
> I don't see the fundamental difference between botany and zoology on this.
> It is equally desirable to have different lifestages of a given animal
taxon (larvae, males/females, juveniles/adults, etc.) in the original
material.  This is not only inconvenient, but usually impossible to do
within a single individual organism.  Thus, in zoological practice, *one*
individual is selected as the name-bearing type; and the others are regarded
as non-name-bearing material (e.g., paratypes, etc.).

> Or, are you saying that there is a greater risk in botany that multiple
> parts derived from what is *believed* to be the same individual may turn
out not to be so? In other words, is it a common problem in botany that a
> taxonomist wants to include a full set of seasonally disparate parts, and
> thus collects the parts from what is *believed* to be the same tree over
> different times, but later discovers an error in that parts were actually
> acquired from more than one individual (=potentially more than one taxon)?
> Analagous cases in zoology can happen with syntype series or composite
> specimens, but these cases are rare and are handled by the Code.

> It seems to me that the only biologically-based rationale for the
difference between botanical and zoological practice is the relative
frequency with which there is substantial ambiguity in what constitutes a
"single individual organism".  This is a problem for both kingdoms, but
evidently a more frequent problem in plants than in animals.

> Aloha,
> Rich

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