[Taxacom] Thousands of holotype burn

Kenneth Kinman kinman at hotmail.com
Mon Sep 3 22:52:35 CDT 2018


Hi Stephen,

       I would agree with that.  However, if one believes that one has collected a unique specimen (or specimens) of an undescribed species, it should probably be immediately preserved with digital photographs stored elsewhere (i.e., treated with the same importance as a type).  The tragedy in Brazil is a wake up call not to put such things off.  And also scan those research notes as well.

      I'm sorry if my post might regarded as a snit, but such tragedies become old news very quickly in today's world, and then the same mistakes are too often repeated down the line.  Now is the time to act before a similar problem is again repeated in the future.   It always amazes me that people can see news stories about people having lost precious family photographs in a fire, and yet another fire comes along and other people still haven't scanned their precious photographs and stored them elsewhere.  If one doesn't react immediately to such losses on the news, it is quickly forgotten and then those who are equally unprepared needlessly suffer similar losses down the line.

      So a period of mourning might sound appropriate, but if it just leads to procrastination, the lesson will not have been well learned, and it just get repeated again somewhere else in the future.  Whether it is family photographs or scientific notes and photographs of specimens, store them as soon as possible in a fire-proof safe as well as other places (including online in the "cloud" and other websites).  Review your own situation now, before you just end up procrastinating and end up making a similar mistake in a future tragedy (even if on a smaller scale).  One can mourn and also take needed precautions at the same time.  Procrastination is not a good thing, and just a quick review of your own situation may be all that is needed (while some might need to take immediate action).



________________________________
From: Stephen Thorpe <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>
Sent: Monday, September 3, 2018 9:48 PM
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu; MichaelIvie; Kenneth Kinman
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Thousands of holotype burn

Ken,
There is a lot of misunderstanding around the role and importance of holotypes, even amongst taxonomists. If a unique holotype is destroyed, then at least, being a holotype, it means that the species has been described, so there should be a publication (with multiple copies around the world) with a good illustrated description. More of a tragedy is the loss of a unique (non-type) specimen of an undescribed species! If a published description of a new species is no good, so the species cannot be recognised from the description, then, if the holotype is destroyed, the name just becomes a nomen dubium, which is no big deal. Therefore, the loss of holotypes is not a big issue. More of a tragedy is the loss of collected specimens (possibly even collected from subsequently cleared and modified land) which have not been published yet (and so are not types). So, the title of this thread should be "Thousands of specimens burn".
Stephen

--------------------------------------------
On Tue, 4/9/18, Kenneth Kinman <kinman at hotmail.com> wrote:

 Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Thousands of holotype burn
 To: "taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>, "MichaelIvie" <mivie at montana.edu>, "Stephen Thorpe" <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>
 Received: Tuesday, 4 September, 2018, 2:03 PM



 Hi Stephen,
         I'm
 not sure I would say that such losses (holotypes vs.
 non-type specimens) are equally tragic.  Especially in
 cases where a holotype is the only known specimen (or all
 the non-type specimens were also in the
  same museum).
       In such
 cases, if the only remaining specimens are digital
 photographs, can such a photograph be made the neotype?
 More importantly, the question is whether most of the
 holotypes of that museum had good diagnostic
  digital photos stored elsewhere.






 From: Taxacom
 <taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> on behalf of
 Stephen Thorpe <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>

 Sent: Sunday, September 2, 2018 11:01 PM

 To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu; MichaelIvie

 Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Thousands of holotype
 burn



 Loss of
 holotypes isn't really any more tragic than loss of
 non-type specimens (i.e. both are equally tragic). Neotypes
 can be designated where necessary, so that isn't a big
 deal. Events such as this illustrate the importance of
 having
  good diagnostic digital photos of specimens (stored on
 multiple servers). Specimens cannot be duplicated, but
 digital images of specimens can be. Images might not give us
 all that we might want, but they give us a lot more than a
 pile of smoking charcoal.
  All specimens in all natural history collections will be
 reduced to dust some day, it is only a matter of time.



 Stephen



 --------------------------------------------

 On Mon, 3/9/18, Ivie, Michael <mivie at montana.edu>
 wrote:



  Subject: [Taxacom] Thousands of holotype burn

  To: "taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu"
 <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>

  Received: Monday, 3 September, 2018, 3:34 PM



  This might well be the largest loss of

  primary types ever in a single event, if the reported
 total

  loss proves true.  Thousands of types in the

  Cerambycidae alone.

  Our hearts go out to our Brazilian

  colleagues.  Horrible event, please no negative

  comments while this tragedy is so fresh.



  Mike





  https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-45392668?ns_source=facebook&ocid=socialflow_facebook&ns_campaign=bbcnews&ns_mchannel=social







 Fire ravages
  200-year-old Brazil museum

 www.bbc.co.uk<http://www.bbc.co.uk>

 The National Museum of Brazil, home to some 20m items
 spanning centuries, is devastated.






  __________________________________________________

  Michael A. Ivie, Ph.D., F.R.E.S.



  NOTE: two addresses with different Zip

  Codes depending on carriers



  US Post Office Address:

  Montana Entomology Collection

  Marsh Labs, Room 50

  PO Box 173145

  Montana State University

  Bozeman, MT 59717

  USA



  UPS, FedEx, DHL Address:

  Montana Entomology Collection

  Marsh Labs, Room 50

  1911 West Lincoln Street

  Montana State University

  Bozeman, MT 59718

  USA



  (406) 994-4610 (voice)

  (406) 994-6029 (FAX)

  mivie at montana.edu

  _______________________________________________

  Taxacom Mailing List

  Send Taxacom mailing list submissions

  to: Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu



  http://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/taxacom

  The Taxacom Archive back to 1992 may be

  searched at:
 http://taxacom.markmail.org

  To subscribe or unsubscribe via the

  Web, visit:
 http://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/taxacom

  You can reach the person managing the

  list at: taxacom-owner at mailman.nhm.ku.edu



  Nurturing Nuance while Assaulting

  Ambiguity for 31 Some Years, 1987-2018.



 _______________________________________________

 Taxacom Mailing List

 Send Taxacom mailing list submissions to:
 Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu



 http://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/taxacom

 The Taxacom Archive back to 1992 may be searched at:
 http://taxacom.markmail.org

 To subscribe or unsubscribe via the Web, visit:
 http://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/taxacom

 You can reach the person managing the list at:
 taxacom-owner at mailman.nhm.ku.edu



 Nurturing Nuance while Assaulting Ambiguity for 31 Some
 Years, 1987-2018.








More information about the Taxacom mailing list