[Taxacom] Type specimen

Francisco Welter-Schultes fwelter at gwdg.de
Sat May 18 18:14:23 CDT 2013


the other birds that escaped also formed part of the type series. Audubon
might have derived information concerning their behaviour or specific
flight formations.
It is only that those specimens were not well documented. So the question
is of minor importance in practical type selection procedures.


>> Yes I would say that every cat that Linnaeus saw before 1758, convinced
> him
>> of it being a true species, and contributed information to his final
> description.
>> He might have looked more closely at some of those cats, and less
>> closely
> at
>> others, but where would you draw the line to exclude some and include
>> others?
> Inferring syntype series that are not explicitly stated is always
> dangerous;
> but I still do not agree with your logic that the syntype series must
> include every individual ever seen by the person establishing the new
> name.
> If John James Audubon observed a flock of 100 birds, then shot three of
> them
> and deposited them in a Museum, and described it as a new species based on
> those three species, is every bird in the entire flock (indeed, every bird
> in every flock observed by Audobon) part of the syntype series?  Or just
> the
> three specimens.  *Technically* you could argue that there are thousands
> of
> members of the syntype series, but I strongly suspect that most people
> would
> regard only three specimens as being part of the syntype series.
> Were it only so simple that everything in the Code was based on purely
> objective demarcations. (Indeed, it would be nice to find even *one* thing
> in the Code that is utterly immune to ambiguity!)
>> For selecting a lectotype it is of course necessary to make sure that
> Linnaeus
>> actually saw this cat. It is the lack of documentation which usually
> excludes
>> most of such specimens.
> Yes, agreed.  I think we can certainly be confident that Linnaeus had
> himself available for examination, so it is safe to include him among the
> syntype series (and as a legitimate candidate for a lectotype).  I'm not
> quite so confident that he can be inferred to be the *only* member of the
> type series for H. s. sapiens.
> Aloha,
> Rich

Francisco Welter-Schultes
Zoologisches Institut, Berliner Str. 28, D-37073 Goettingen
Phone +49 551 395536

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