[Taxacom] ICZN query

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Mon Dec 16 14:35:27 CST 2013

The Zoological Code is a bit vague on the distinction between specimen and individual, since these things usually coincide. I don't think that Art. 72.5 is about this sort of case. I think it just means that if you only have part of an individual (i.e. an incomplete specimen), then the holotype can be that part. I suspect, however, that you can jump either way and get away with it (i.e. slide only, or both slide and rest of body)

From: Bob Mesibov <mesibov at southcom.com.au>
To: TAXACOM <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> 
Sent: Monday, 16 December 2013 7:33 PM
Subject: [Taxacom] ICZN query

A millipede name published in 1924 was based on a single male and a single female specimen, syntypes. I would like to make the male specimen the lectotype and the female the paralectotype.

The author dissected the male, mounted the diagnostic parts on a slide and deposited the slide in Museum A. The rest of the body was left in alcohol in Museum B.

My reading of section 72.5 of the Code is that both 'parts' of the one animal are eligible to be name-bearing types, and that the lectotype can be the slide plus the alcohol material. I could state this formally as 'The lectotype consists of slide such-and-such in Museum A and alcohol sample such-and-such from Museum B, being parts of the one type specimen.'

Can anyone refer me to a similar case?
Dr Robert Mesibov
Honorary Research Associate
Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, and
School of Agricultural Science, University of Tasmania
Home contact:
PO Box 101, Penguin, Tasmania, Australia 7316
(03) 64371195; 61 3 64371195

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