[Taxacom] Type specimen

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Fri May 17 20:05:21 CDT 2013

Actually, no! There can be no type series for Homo sapiens. Linnaeus split it up into named variants, which left no room for "typical" H. sapiens. No specimens qualify for type status. The availability of the name is unaffected, however ...

From: Doug Yanega <dyanega at ucr.edu>
To: "taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> 
Sent: Saturday, 18 May 2013 12:50 PM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Type specimen

On 5/17/13 5:38 PM, Andy Mabbett wrote:
> Which is the type specimen for Homo sapiens?
> _______________________________________________
Linnaeus is the holotype by implied monotypy. ICZN Chapter 16, Art 
72.4.1 states: "The type series of a nominal species-group taxon 
consists of all the specimens included by the author in the new nominal 
taxon (whether directly or by bibliographic reference)". The important 
things are that it says (1) specimens, and (2) "included by" not 
"examined by". Then see Article - "For a nominal species or 
subspecies established before 2000, any evidence, published or 
unpublished, may be taken into account to determine what specimens 
constitute the type series." and Article 73.1.2 - "If the nominal 
species-group taxon is based on a single specimen, either so stated or 
implied in the original publication, that specimen is the holotype fixed 
by monotypy (see Recommendation 73F). If the taxon was established 
before 2000 evidence derived from outside the work itself may be taken 
into account [Art.] to help identify the specimen." Linnaeus 
made no explicit mention of any specimens that would have been in 
addition to his own person, so Art. taken together with 73.1.2 
(an implied single specimen) resolves the issue of /Homo sapiens/ as 
having a holotype by monotypy.

There are no syntypes, and no neotypes, despite claims of such that 
appear in the literature (some published before the modern version of 
the Code).

Doug Yanega      Dept. of Entomology      Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314    skype: dyanega
phone: (951) 827-4315 (disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
  "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
        is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

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