[Taxacom] When electing a neotype, how to define the other gender

JF Mate aphodiinaemate at gmail.com
Tue Oct 1 02:31:18 CDT 2013

Even 'same type locality' is somewhat problematic, not just because of old
and/or ambiguous terms or localities that have disappeared but also due to
the inherent mistakes and error rates in the supposedly more precise but
less human-oriented coordinates. When i read the code i try to be practical
(and probably wrong) and interpret it as 'close as possible to the type
locality' rather than the exact one which.

On 01/10/2013 10:49 AM, "Doug Yanega" <dyanega at ucr.edu> wrote:

> On 9/30/13 4:32 PM, Frank.Krell at dmns.org wrote:
> > Phew, fortunately Code Articles 75.3.5 and 6 do not deal with the
> question whether or not selecting paratypes as neotypes. After your comment
> I thought there might be a contradiction in the Code that needs to be
> fixed. Fortunately there isn't a contradiction.
> > Or do you say that paratypes are generally not consistent with the
> holotype and do generally originate far away from the type locality?
> Certainly not.
> >
> Looking over a set of papers handy on my desk, of 932 paratypes from 108
> taxa, and assuming that authors typically list topotypical paratypes in
> an obvious manner so I didn't miss any in my quick scanning, I see only
> 80 out of 932 that are BOTH the same gender as the holotype (and thus
> eligible to be a neotype under 75.3.5) and also from the exact type
> locality (thus eligible to be a neotype under 75.3.6). That is, over 90%
> of all these designated paratypes are not eligible to be neotypes under
> the Code, and a fair number of the species (67 of 108) have no eligible
> paratypes at all - including many where the type series is just a
> holotype and "allotype". Since the majority fail to comply with 75.3.6,
> I should clarify: I do not consider, for example, that when the holotype
> of Liris evansi is from "Mexico: Guerrero: 3 mi N Taxco" that any of the
> 7 paratypes from "Mexico: Guerrero: Acapulco" are from the type
> locality, nor that it is /not practicable/ to obtain fresh specimens
> from the type locality, should one desire a genuinely Code-compliant
> neotype.
> Maybe this percentage is different for taxa described in the 1800's when
> type localities were very ambiguous, but modern revisionary works seem
> to include rather precise type localities, and very large numbers of
> paratypes, very few of which come from the type locality - accordingly,
> I imagine that a more comprehensive review would likely show a low
> percentage of paratypes that fulfill 75.3.5 and 75.3.6. If you truly
> believe that paratypes are intended to serve a nomenclatural function,
> then why not change the wording of Recommendation 75A so it states:
> Authors are advised to choose neotypes from any surviving paratypes or
> paralectotypes as long as they are of the same gender as the holotype, and
> from the type locality.
> Frankly, given the increasing reliance upon gene sequencing for taxon
> diagnosis, in most cases a compelling argument could be made to use
> freshly-collected material for a neotype even when topotypic paratypes
> ARE available, and I would personally prefer a Recommendation along
> THOSE lines instead.
> Sincerely,
> --
> 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)
>               http://cache.ucr.edu/~heraty/yanega.html
>    "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
>          is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82
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