Chapter 16: Types in the Species Group

Article 73. Name-bearing types fixed in the original publication (holotypes and syntypes).

73.1. Holotypes. A holotype is the single specimen (except in the case of a hapantotype [Art. 73.3.2]) designated or otherwise fixed as the name-bearing type of a nominal species or subspecies when the nominal taxon is established (for specimens eligible to be holotypes in colonial animals and protistans, see Articles 72.5.2, 72.5.4 and 73.3).

Recommendation 73A. Designation of holotype. An author who establishes a new nominal species-group taxon should designate its holotype in a way that will facilitate its subsequent recognition.

Recommendation 73B. Preference for specimens studied by author. An author should designate as holotype a specimen actually studied by him or her, not a specimen known to the author only from descriptions or illustrations in the literature.

Recommendation 73C. Data on the holotype. An author who establishes a new nominal species-group taxon should publish at least the following data concerning the holotype, if they are relevant and known to the author:

Recommendation 73D. Labelling of paratypes. After the holotype has been labelled, any remaining specimens of the type series [Art. 72.4.5] should be labelled "paratype" to identify the components of the original type series.

Recommendation 73E. Avoidance of the term "cotype". An author should not use the term "cotype", e.g. in the sense of syntype or paratype.

Recommendation 73F. Avoidance of assumption of holotype. Where no holotype or syntype was fixed for a nominal species-group taxon established before 2000, and when it is possible that the nominal species-group taxon was based on more than one specimen, an author should proceed as though syntypes may exist and, where appropriate, should designate a lectotype rather than assume a holotype (see also Article 74.6).

73.2. Syntypes. Syntypes are specimens of a type series that collectively constitute the name-bearing type. They may have been expressly designated as syntypes (see Article 73.2.1 for acceptable terms); for a nominal species-group taxon established before 2000 [Art. 72.3] all the specimens of the type series are automatically syntypes if neither a holotype [Art. 72.1] nor a lectotype [Art. 74] has been fixed. When a nominal species-group taxon has syntypes, all have equal status in nomenclature as components of the name-bearing type.

73.3. Hapantotypes. A hapantotype (see Glossary) consisting of one or more preparations or cultures may be designated when a nominal species-group taxon of extant protistans is established. This hapantotype is the holotype of the nominal taxon.

Preamble | Articles 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 | Glossary Appendices Constitution

FranciscoWelterSchultes   Art. 73.2


"holotype [Art. 72.1]" should read "holotype [Art. 73.1]"

2016-02-27 17:34:00

Art. 73.1.4


This Article seems to have been misunderstood by unexperienced taxonomists, for example by Barrera et al. 2010 in the Grallaria bird Case 3623. The authors of the description of a new bird species assumed that designating as holotype an animal of which photographs were published, had something to do with an application of Art. 73.1.4. One source of the misunderstanding was the provision "the fact that the specimen no longer exists or cannot be traced does not of itself invalidate the designation", which they assigned to their own case because the bird was released into the wild and could not be traced any more.


It would be useful to add examples. Either 2 or 3 real examples or a virtual example could be given to illustrate common practice in historical sources, where it said: "Holotype Pl. 3 Fig. 5". Another example would show the limit at the other side: if the original source indicated "Holotype is the individual depicted on Pl. 3 Fig. 5", then this Article would not come into effect.

2016-01-17 09:39:41

Art. 73.1.5


The English version should perhaps be aligned more closely to the French text, which seems to explain the specially addressed case better. This Article only seems to make sense in the light of a holotype being one single specimen (so, nothing that can be deposited in two different collections, or obtain different collection numbers), and have been artificially composed together (for example by sewing).


It might be useful, if agreed, to exclude expressly the option that various separated parts of an individual could be meant here. The term "specimen", which forms the backbone of the term "holotype" was interpreted in a form that it could refer to a total of several distinct objects, by various authors involved in Cases 3564 and 3623.


Example: The holotype for Crocodylus niloticus Laurenti, 1768 was a specimen that was sold be seamen in the early 1700s to Albertus Seba in Amsterdam, for his collection. Later it was found that this specimen was composed of various components that had been sewed together, of at least two different species of Central American crocodiles of the genus Paleosuchus.

2016-01-09 16:51:26
GaryRosenberg   For Article 73.2.2 add "or set aside by action of the Commission."
2010-04-20 14:32:06

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