[Taxacom] Nuttall's species at PH, holotypes vs. lectotypes?

Alina Freire-Fierro freirefierro at acnatsci.org
Fri Jun 27 16:02:58 CDT 2008

Dear all, 

As part of our Summer REU project (NSF-founded Undergraduate Research
Opportunities Grant) Alicia Landale and I are currently verifying the type
status of Nuttall' species of Polygala deposited at PH.

>From what I understand from Art. 9, Note 1; and Art. 9A.4. of the Code
--http://www.ibot.sav.sk/icbn/main.htm-- (see at end of message) there is no
need to designate a lectotype if we are completely sure that the specimen in
question is the holotype?

We have one specimen of Polygala that was clearly annotated as a new species
by Nuttall, and that, according to Ewan's introduction to Nuttall's 1811
Gen. N. Amer. Pl. 2, it was collected by Nuttall in Missouri in 1811. Also,
in the protologue, Nuttall only mentions "Missouri" as the locality.
So, since it is very likely that there are no Nuttall duplicates of his
early collections in other herbaria, shall we safely assume that this
specimen is the holotype?

And if it is the holotype, can we only put a "Holotype" label in the
specimen and publish a note about it? Do you know any examples of this
procedure? (From what I know, lectotypification is the common practice).

I will appreciate your input.

Many thanks and best wishes,


9.1.  A holotype of a name of a species or infraspecific taxon is the one
specimen or illustration (but see  Art. 37.4) used by the author, or
designated by the author as the nomenclatural type. As long as a holotype is
extant, it fixes the application of the name concerned (but see Art. 9.13;
see also  Art. 10).

Note 1.  Any designation made by the original author, if definitely
expressed at the time of the original publication of the name of the taxon,
is final (but see Art. 9.9 and 9.13). If the author used only one element,
that one must be accepted as the holotype.

9A.4. When a single gathering is cited in the protologue, but a particular
institution housing it is not designated, it should be assumed that the
specimen housed in the institution where the author is known to have worked
is the holotype, unless there is evidence that further material of the same
gathering was used.

Alina Freire-Fierro
Collection Manager
PH Herbarium, Botany Department
Academy of Natural Sciences
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1151
freirefierro at ansp.org
Tel: 1-215-299-1157; Fax: 1-215-299-1028

More information about the Taxacom mailing list