Holotype fragment (botany)

Paul van Rijckevorsel dipteryx at FREELER.NL
Fri Jan 13 22:17:41 CST 2006

From: "Richard Pyle" <deepreef at BISHOPMUSEUM.ORG>
> Thanks for the response, Paul.

>> As I understand it from you, in zoology one individual means one type, no
matter what.

> Technically no, because the Code still allows for historical syntypes
> (multiple individuals) for existing names, though new names must be
anchored to a single name-bearing type individual. But more to the point --
in zoology, there is no such thing as an Isotype.  If an individual organism
> designated as a name-bearing type is divided into multiple parts, the sum
of those parts collectively represent the type.

Well I assumed the "one individual means one type" to be a one-way
relationship. I did not intend the reverse to apply (i.e. one type is one
* * *

> This, by itself, doesn't really impose any practical barriers to the
> treatment of the collective set of parts (i.e., the whole individual) as
the name-bearing type, other than the increased potential risk that multiple
> parts *believed* to have been obtained from the same individual, might
> actually have not been (less likely if all parts are stored together in
one place, or at least one Museum collection, as they almost always are for
> name-bearing zoological types).

No, I don't think any real fundamental difference exists. It is merely a
matter of scale: if using a gathering of moss plants or a microscope slide
with yeast cells the dangers of confusion are just as big (if not bigger).
However, the package with moss plants or the microscope slide is curated as

When dealing with a tree, it becomes a lot more practical to treat each
gathering as a separate specimen, and doing so decreases the risks of
confusion. Several such specimens may become syntypes (Art 9.4), or one of
them may become the holotype with the others as paratypes.

The tree itself cannot be a type, not while it is alive (Art 8.4). However,
theoretically it would be possible to go back later to a 'type tree' and to
collect an epitype (Art 9.7), which (obviously) would not even be part of
the "original material"!

However, you see that the fine nuances of these definitions will hinder easy
harmonization between /Codes/.

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