[Taxacom] unrecognizable species, what to do...
releech at telus.net
Wed Sep 25 17:22:35 CDT 2013
I believe that the Commission has to designate a specialist in the field in
question. The specialist, in turn, will then designate a neotype. I have
it in the back of my head that there is someone else in attendance during
the selection of the neotype. I seem to recall, in reading over a neotype
designation that if topotypic material should be selected from, if possible.
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
[mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Francisco
Sent: September-25-13 3:25 PM
To: Neal Evenhuis
Cc: ICZN-list; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu; Lawrence Kirkendall
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] unrecognizable species, what to do...
I agree with Doug and others: the appropriate form to solve this problem is
to ask the Commission to set aside the existing types and to fix a neotype.
The other option which was proposed, would not work.
Declaration of a name as a nomen dubium is not a nomenclatural act. "Nomen
dubium" is only an informal term. Its meaning is "a name of unknown or
It describes circumstances concerning the taxonomic identity of a name. It
is not possible to "declare" something as doubtful. Either something is
doubtful or not, this is inherent and only needs to be discovered.
> Doug and others have responded to this stating that an application can
> be made to the ICZN to designate a neotype, with which I wholly agree,
> and Doug has further recommended pinning the type locality as close as
> possible to the original type (type series).
> I would further strongly "recommend" -- as it is not discussed in the
> -- to place that neotype in the same museum as the original type series.
> This would be a good idea for most neotypes, but especially in the
> case of older (i.e, 18th, 19th century) well-known zoologists. In the
> case of Westwood types, Oxford is the most logical place one would
> look for a Westwood type and future workers on this beetle may not
> know to look in two places for the old and 'new' type material.
> I'm cross-posting this to the ICZN list for the following reason:
> In addition, the way Article 75.5 is written: without specification
> that neotype be deposited in the same institution as the original type
> series that is alleged to be poorly preserved, it opens up the
> potential for abuse where a taxonomist could add more types to his or
> her collection by declaring the need for neotypes because of poorly
> preserved collections, while depleting types from other collections or
> causing confusion when a neotype is located in another collection from
> where all the other types of an author may reside (what is this was
> done to, say, Linnaeus types?).
> Probably will never happen much but it has happened, but when you
> write laws, you need to be as forward thinking as possible to all
> possibilities and minimize the potential for abuse of that law. I
> would thuds recommend that Article 75.5 be reworded or at least
> (although unfortunately
> unenforceable) a Recommendation be added to it to state the best way
> to preserve such neotypes would be to place them in the same
> depository as the original "alleged poorly" preserved type seres.
> Just a thought.
> On Stardate 9/25/13 2:34 AM, "Lawrence Kirkendall"
> <lawrence.kirkendall at bio.uib.no> wrote:
>>I am a new member of Taxacom, so I don't know if this has been
>>As I understand it, one cannot normally designate a neotype when types
>>can be found. But what do you do when your species, described in the
>>19th century, turns out to be a species complex, and because of the
>>poor condition of the syntypes one cannot safely attribute any
>>particular individual to any of the clades you can now recognize as
>>separate species? The example my colleagues and I are struggling with
>>is Hypothenemus eruditus Westwood (1836), a 1 mm - long species which
>>may well be the most abundant and widespread bark beetle on the
>>planet. We can separate a number of clades out, using a combination of
>>molecular and morphological characters. Especially for such old
>>mounted specimens, important diagnostic morphological characters for
>>species in this genus (such the frons, or elytral puntures & setae)
>>are frequently either hidden, worn, or at least partially covered with
>>glue; in addition, old specimens are usually card-mounted, making even
>>a visible frons almost impossile to view sufficiently well. The
>>problem is not just with the syntype series for eruditus Westwood; the
>>current catalog lists 75 synonyms, and my suspicion is that it is
>>going to be hopeless, trying to associate the clades we can (finally)
>>now recognize with older, synonymized names--especially bearing in
>>mind that the species is globally distributed!
>>What do aphidologists or acarologists do, in a species complex, if
>>slide mounts have darkened to the point where critical characters can
>>no longer be discerned, assuming that sufficiently detailed drawings
>>do not exist?
>>Thanks for any advice,
>>Prof. Lawrence Kirkendall
>>Department of Biology
>>N-5006 Bergen, Norway
>>Department of Biology
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