[Taxacom] Total number of name-bearing types

Kenneth Kinman kennethkinman at webtv.net
Thu Jan 15 10:08:44 CST 2009

Dear All,
      David can speak for himself, but my impression was he wanted to
estimate the number of types from the number of described taxa.  Not the
other way around, since it is probably easier to estimate numbers of
taxa (given the relatively spotty availability of type catalogs).                                 
       My posting was rather muddled last night (perhaps a reflection of
the late hour).  Chris Thompson estimated 185,063 name-bearing types for
flies, and I meant to quote his estimated 216,795 type specimens (which
is approximatedly 1.4 times the 154,376 recognized species).                              
      Given that the numbers of type specimens is a bit more volatile
(as lectotypes are chosen from syntypic series), the number of
name-bearing types might be a little easier to pin down for most groups.
However, David did also ask what material "is circumscribed by all of
this?", and that material would include a large number of syntypes from
which lectotypes might not be chosen for many decades to come.  I
believe that is why Chris not only calculated the number of name-bearing
types, but the number of type specimens as well.  Some workers would be
more interested in one number than the other, depending on the nature of
their work (as Fred noted, many curators would generally be more
interested in the total number of type specimens).

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