[Taxacom] Technical question

Spies, Martin spies at zi.biologie.uni-muenchen.de
Tue Mar 17 05:35:11 CDT 2009

Bob Mesibov wrote:

>Suppose Smith (1900) describes Aus bus from 2 individual arthropods of
>the same sex from the same locality. He illustrates the same diagnostic
>anatomical parts of each, and there isn't much doubt that 'Aus bus'
>applies to both specimens.
>You now want to designate a lectotype of Aus bus.
Why? If, as you wrote above, there is no evidence of a taxonomic 
difference among the members of the original syntype series, what reason 
is there to single out a lectotype? Please see the relevant ICZN (1999) 
Code Article (http://www.iczn.org/iczn/index.jsp, chapter 16, Article 
74) and the subsequent, partially superseding Declaration 44 

>You therefore choose an appropriate bit on a particular slide (say, the
>diagnostic genitalia or wing) which was illustrated by Smith, and
>designate that bit as the lectotype of Aus bus;
I seriously wonder whether what you're suggesting is wise (or even 
possible) under the current rules. If you have good reason to restrict 
the name-bearing status from a syntype series to a lectotype, the 
resulting single name-bearing specimen should better consist of all 
preserved body parts of the corresponding individual animal.

If you cannot tell any longer, which dissected body part belonged to 
which individual syntype animal, but you're considering all parts to 
belong to individuals of a single species, then I'd say that's all the 
more reason to refrain from lectotype fixation altogether.

>The same diagnostic bit on another slide you designate a
No. If restriction as you're proposing is possible, ALL other previous 
syntype body parts become paralectotype parts.

>Do you
>(a) Include the other bits in the lectotypification process as
>(b) Exclude the other bits from the process, leaving them with no
>taxonomic status?
Code Recommendation 74F. "Paralectotypes. An author who designates a 
lectotype should clearly label other former syntypes as 
"paralectotypes". Like paratypes, paralectotypes have no name-bearing 
status, but they are eligible for designation of neotypes."
Code Glossary (sub "Type"):* *"paralectotype. Each specimen of a former 
syntype series remaining after the designation of a lectotype [Art. 
72.1.3, Recommendation 74F]."
Note also that "taxonomic status" is misapplied here. With lectotypes 
and paralectotypes you're talking about nomenclature, not taxonomy.

Martin Spies
Zoologische Staatssammlung Muenchen

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