IUBio Biosequences .. Software .. Molbio soft .. Network News .. FTP

Type nomeclature and rules

(Gordon Paterson) gljp at nhm.ac.uk
Mon Dec 11 06:06:11 EST 1995

I have read Jim Blake's correspondance about types and localities with 
interest. It highlights an important change in our perception about 
species distributions. One of the  orginal reason for a type locality was 
that anyone could then go back to that locality and collect samples of the 
species. It fixed the locality in space. However, in marine systems 
species tend to be widespread and variable in occurrence in time and space 
so the type locality has less relevance. So how should we view the idea of 
a type locality, which under the ICZN rules of nomenclature, is 
considered to be a necessary/ highly desirable part of the information 
about a species?
Personally, I view it as a locality where a group of specimens of the 
species were originally collected, to be considered in the context of the 
overall distribution of the species. A further point about type localities 
is that if you nominate syntypes, instead of a holotype, from a across the 
biogeographic range it gets away from the problems of fixating on a type 
Finally, the Commission is about to produce a new edition of the 
rules of nomenclature and would like to hear from anyone who has views on 
the current rules. There is a draft available for comment (they would be 
grateful for contributions of 3 pounds sterling or 5 US dollars to cover 
postage costs, etc.). 
The contact is :Dr Philip Tubbs
Executive Secretary
International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature
The Natural History Museum
London SW7 5BD
e-mail: pkt at nhm.ac.uk
The consultation process will last until May 1996 with the new rules taking 
effect in 1997.
Gordon L J Paterson
Dept. of Zoology
tel: +44 (0)171 938 9414; Fax:+44 (0)171 938 9158 
(drop the zero outside the UK)
E-mail: gljp at nhm.ac.uk

More information about the Annelida mailing list

Send comments to us at biosci-help [At] net.bio.net