[Taxacom] manuscript name question

Laurent Raty l.raty at skynet.be
Sun Oct 11 05:20:55 CDT 2015

On 10/10/2015 11:14 PM, Stephen Thorpe wrote:
> It seems that Art. 73.1.4 is widely misunderstood, possibly because
> it may be a relic from long ago which seems ridiculous to modern
> readers. All it says is that if someone designates a photo of
> specimen X as a holotype, then the holotype is specimen X, rather
> than the photo of specimen X!

I don't think it's necessarily that ridiculous or unlikely to happen, 
but for the rest I actually fully agree with Stephen's reading. Eg, 
something like:

Aus bus n.sp.
Holotype: Fig. 4.
Description: ...
Range: ...

...includes a designation of "Figure 4" as the holotype of Aus bus. 
"Figure 4" is not a specimen, thus cannot be a holotype. Fortunately for 
the inadvertent author, there comes 73.1.4:

"73.1.4. Designation of an illustration of a single specimen as a 
holotype is to be treated as designation of the specimen illustrated; 
the fact that the specimen no longer exists or cannot be traced does not 
of itself invalidate the designation."

Thus the designation of "Figure 4" is to be interpeted as the 
designation of the specimen illustrated by Figure 4, and the holotype 
designation is not made invalid by the slip. But this is the only thing 
that 73.1.4 does: in particular, it does not make the name available if 
it otherwise fails to comply to Art. 16.4.2.

"16.4. Species-group names [...] must be accompanied in the original 
publication [...]
16.4.2. where the holotype or syntypes are extant specimens, by a 
statement of intent that they will be (or are) deposited in a collection 
and a statement indicating the name and location of that collection (see 
Recommendation 16C)."

Thus if the type illustrated by Figure 4 is an "extant specimen", the 
description must still give its whereabouts.

Laurent -

More information about the Taxacom mailing list