[Taxacom] Type specimen

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Sat May 18 14:25:58 CDT 2013

Hi Francisco,

I either don't understand, or don't agree, with your point here:

> I do not agree with Doug's interpretation of the terms "included by" as
> in contrast to "examined by".
> Art. 72.1.1 defines the type series as "all the specimens on which the
> established a nominal species-group taxon".
> > If one chooses to claim that every human being Linnaeus met during his
> > lifetime was a syntype, then the same logic would apply to every cat,
> > dog, horse, chicken, sparrow, etc. that Linnaeus saw prior to
> > publishing.
> The cats that Linnaeus saw himself before 1758 were in agreement with Art.
> 72.1.1 and formed part of the type series, in my interpretation of the
> The cats that he saw after 1758 not.
> The intensity of examination and degree of thoroughness of study cannot be
> a criterion for a nomenclatural status. Only presence and absence can be a
> criterion.

I agree with Doug that "included by" does not mean the same thing as
"examined by".  Furthermore, the key word (in my opinion) in Art. 72.1.1 is
"established".  Just because a person "sees" an organism, doesn't mean that
s/he necessarily "establishes" a new name on that organism.  I do not agree,
in the context of the wording of Art. 72.1.1, that Linnaeus "established"
the name Felis catus on every individual cat he had ever seen prior to 1758.
Therefore, I do not interpret Art. 72.1.1 as including all such specimens as
being part of the type series.

Having said that, I'm a little uneasy on Doug's confidence in assuming
monotypy for H. sapiens.  I think it's reasonably unambiguous that Linnaeus
included himself as a member of H. sapiens sapiens, and it's certainly clear
that he had himself to examine when writing the description.  However, I'm
not so confident that we must conclude by inference or implication that he
was the only specimen on which the new name was established.  I tend to lean
more towards the Stearn lectotypification.


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