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

Denis Brothers Brothers at ukzn.ac.za
Tue Oct 1 03:37:21 CDT 2013

For groups where sexual dimorphism is extreme (such as velvet-ants, Mutillidae), it is useful for taxonomic reasons to have some indication which specimen of the opposite sex from the holotype was the prime source for the description of that sex, whether this happened when the taxon was originally described (and therefore the allotype would, presumably, be a paratype) or later, when the allotype would not be part of the type series. Of course, such a specimen could be labelled in a way that does not use the term "allotype" (as has already been mentioned), but "allotype" seems nevertheless to be useful, no matter when specified. The false assumption that an allotype must be a paratype merely needs recognition. I really don't see the argument that later specification of an allotype requires additional research to check whether it was part of the type series or not - such information on the composition of the type series needs to be done in any case. (And the many instances of mixed type series diminish the taxonomic "authority" of paratypes anyway.) 


-----Original Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Frank.Krell at dmns.org
Sent: 01 October 2013 01:44 AM
To: TPape at snm.ku.dk; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] When electing a neotype, how to define the other gender

"Having the formal category "allotype" would seem to imply that a particular paratype (of a sex different from the holotype) has a nomenclatural status that the other paratypes (of a sex different from the holotype) do not have."

I don't see this implication, and I agree that an allotype does not have a different status from any paratype, if it is a paratype. Regulating the term allotype would just - hopefully - prevent people from designating allotypes well after the original description, so that others would not have to research whether specimens labeled as allotypes belong to the original type series or not.

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