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

James L. Reveal jlr326 at cornell.edu
Mon Jun 30 13:25:39 CDT 2008

Dear Ms Freire-Fierro:

As you are aware, the problem with Nuttall types is that they can be in
one of two places, PH and BM, if the name was proposed by Nuttall himself
in one of his own publications (including the 1813 Catalog), or also at GH
or less frequently NY if the name was established for Nuttall by Torrey or

To determine if the specimen at PH is a holotype or should be designated
as a lectotype (or has already been so designated) is not a simple task.
Library work is critical and necessary. However, Ewan's designation of the
Nuttall collection as "type" under the rules today can be taken as an
effectively lectotypification. This is the most logical route to take for
one can not be certain exactly where Nuttall's specimens gathered in
Missouri (mainly in 1811) might be. It has been traditional to consider
the types mentioned by Nuttall in 1818 to be at PH, but after that for
them to be at BM. While you can prove that the Missouri collection is not
at BM, you can not prove that it is not somewhere else.

Thus, in my opinion, it is probably best to consider Ewan's informal
designation of the PH specimen as an effective lectotypification as this
removes any uncertainty.

Jim Reveal

> Mr. Koibeatu,
> I am sorry you had to spend your time and energy reading my post. I sent
> it
> to the group because I wanted to know what other more experienced
> botanical
> taxonomists recommended. In the future, I might request help to my
> nomenclatural questions to colleagues out of the group.
> Dear all,
> Many thanks for the suggestions/recommendations about my question.
> Although
> I have published several taxonomic works, I wanted to know what other
> colleagues thought about this situation. I hope your
> suggestions/information
> will be useful to other colleagues as well.
> I have contacted the institutions that according to TL-2 have duplicates
> of
> Nuttall specimens. Depending on the information we gather from them we
> might
> make the lectotypfications or publish a small note regarding the holotypes
> (so the work that Alicia and I have been doing is not repeated again in
> the
> future).
> Many thanks again and best wishes,
> Alina.
> ******
> Alina Freire-Fierro
> Collection Manager
> PH Herbarium, Botany Department
> Academy of Natural Sciences
> Philadelphia, PA 19103-1151
> U.S.A.
> *
> freirefierro at ansp.org
> Tel: 1-215-299-1157; Fax: 1-215-299-1028
> http://www.ansp.org/research/biodiv/botany/index.php
> http://www.mbgpress.info/index.php?task=id&id=90148
> http://espanol.groups.yahoo.com/group/Anunciosbotanicos/
>> From: Curtis Clark <jcclark-lists at earthlink.net>
>> Date: Sat, 28 Jun 2008 06:30:34 -0700
>> To: Alina Freire-Fierro <freirefierro at acnatsci.org>
>> Cc: "taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>, Alicia
>> Landale
>> <alicia.landale at gmail.com>
>> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Nuttall's species at PH, holotypes vs.
>> lectotypes?
>> On 2008-06-27 14:02, Alina Freire-Fierro wrote:
>>>> 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?
>> This is correct.
>>> 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?
>> Although there is always a chance that you are wrong, taxonomists make
>> judgments like these all the time.
>>> 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).
>> Labeling the specimen would depend on the policies of PH. If the
>> specimen had been in the general collection, designating it a holotype
>> might result in its physical transfer to a separate type collection.
>> It's not appropriate to publish discovery of a holotype (lectotypes are
>> designated, but holotypes are discovered) unless the fact that it was
>> missing had already been noted in the literature, or if its discovery
>> had bearing on a nomenclatural or taxonomic problem.
>> --
>> Curtis Clark                  http://www.csupomona.edu/~jcclark/
>> Director, I&IT Web Development                   +1 909 979 6371
>> University Web Coordinator, Cal Poly Pomona
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