[Taxacom] manuscript name question

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Sun Oct 11 14:00:59 CDT 2015

Hi Adam,

> The implication of the phrase *extant specimens* not only implies that they
> are still in existence (for instance as living wild individuals), but also that they
> have been preserved as *specimens*.

Not necessarily.  Although many of us define the word "specimens" to mean that an organism has been extracted from nature and preserved in some way, the Code does not define it that way:

"specimen, n. An example of an animal, or a fossil or work of an animal, or of a part of these. See Article 72.5 for the kinds of specimen eligible to be name-bearing types of nominal species-group nominal taxa."

Art 72.5 reads as follows:
72.5. Eligibility as name-bearing types. Only the following are eligible to be a name-bearing type, or part of a name-bearing type, of a nominal species-group taxon:
	72.5.1. an animal, or any part of an animal, or an example of the fossilized work of an animal, or of the work of an extant animal if the name based on it was established before 1931;
	72.5.2. a colony of animals that exists in nature as a single entity, derived by asexual or vegetative multiplication from a single individual (e.g. a colony of cnidarians, such as corals), or part of such a colony;
	72.5.3. in the case of fossils, a natural replacement, natural impression, natural mould, or natural cast of an animal or colony, or part of either;
	72.5.4. in extant species of protistans, one or more preparations of directly related individuals representing differing stages in the life cycle (a hapantotype) [Art. 73.3];
	72.5.5. a preparation for microscope examination (e.g. a "type slide") containing one or more individual organisms, in which the name-bearing types are clearly indicated and identifiable.
	72.5.6. In the case of a nominal species-group taxon based on an illustration or description, or on a bibliographic reference to an illustration or description, the name-bearing type is the specimen or specimens illustrated or described (and not the illustration or description itself).

While some of these allude to preparations (e.g., 72.5.4, 72.5.5), neither Art. 72.5.1, nor Art. 72.5.6 (the relevant two in the case we are discussing) do not in any way imply that the animal, any part of an animal, or example of the fossilized work of an animal must be preserved in some way.

But I still agree with your conclusion:

> Thus 16.4.2 cannot apply in the case of the South African Bombylid fly,
> regardless of whatever subsequently happened to the individual in the photo.
> Of course it would be preferable for science had the individual been collected
> and preserved as a specimen - in which case 16.4.2 could apply, but only IF
> the authors were aware of this event prior to publication.


P.S. I agree with others that this thread has run its course in the context of Taxacom, and much of it would be better directed at the ICZN list and/or noted on the wiki for the next edition of the Code.

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