[Taxacom] I'm furious over article: On typeless species and the perils of fast taxonomy

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Thu May 12 22:44:47 CDT 2016

Hi Stephen,

As I said, I know you know that -- I wanted to avoid furthering misunderstanding of the Code if people misinterpreted your point.

> A good diagnostic photo is only already disallowed to actually *be* a type, it is
> not disallowed to *be a proxy* for the type, which is exactly what Evenhuis &
> Marshall did. This rather subtle difference is likely to be a source of confusion.

Technically, it's not a "proxy" for the type.  The type is the type, plain and simple.  You can still establish a new species name without any photo, or any "proxy" at all.  The Code has no rules concerning "proxies".  The two relevant articles are:

16.4 requires fixation of a type in the original publication, and if that type is an "extant specimen", the publication must include "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". 

73.1.4. clarifies that the designation of an illustration of a single specimen as a holotype is to be treated as designation of the specimen illustrated.

Some people interpret 73.1.4 as being "you must have at least an illustration of the type to designate it as such", but that seems to me a distortion of this Article.  All it says is that when an illustration is so-designated, the designation applies to the illustrated specimen, not the image (unlike the case of iconotypes under ICNafp).  I am not aware of any requirements in the Code that prevent the designation of a types with neither a preserved specimen, nor an image.


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