[Taxacom] Total number of name-bearing types

Karl Magnacca kmagnacca at wesleyan.edu
Thu Jan 15 04:53:27 CST 2009

I was also assuming that the original question refered to theoretical
holotypes, i.e. if there were 50 syntypes used to describe a species
that only counted as one.  I'm not sure what the point is of counting
all the others as "name-bearing types", if tomorrow someone comes in and
designates a lectotype and suddenly 49 aren't name-bearing anymore.


On Thu, January 15, 2009 3:55 am, Tony.Rees at csiro.au wrote:
> Dear all,
> Actually I would appreciate some more background from David Remsen
> regarding the motivation for his original question - my feeling (which
> may be quite unwarranted of course) was that he was seeking an
> independent way to calculate known biodiversity to see if the
> often-quoted figure of 1.7-1.8 million described species stacks up -
> i.e., if the numbers of type specimens could be established from museum
> records or literature, then some reduction factor employed to account
> for multiple types and synonymized taxa, then you could see how close to
> the 1.7-1.8 million figure was the answer. What appears to be happening
> may not be contributing to this, as it is extrapolating the number of
> types from the estimated number of described taxa, therefore circular
> reasoning if my original assumption is correct - David, would you care
> to comment here?
> Regards - Tony

Karl Magnacca
Postdoctoral Researcher
Department of Zoology
Trinity College, Dublin 2

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