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Photo galleries

figuration of heritage specimens.

it seemed interesting to make available here the figuration of the reference specimens, in order to have an idea of their real appearance, compared to the original figurations (for species defined before the 20th century).

this has several advantages :
- to realize the degree of interpretation made by the draftsmen/engravers of the XIXth century compared to the physical specimen. Without calling into question their talent as naturalist observers and the corrections requested by the author.
- to better understand the weaknesses of the typological approach of the species
- to have a better understanding of the taxonomic approach and the stakes involved in the conservation of heritage specimens, their access in "open data".
- the fact that the type/figuration representations are concentrated here in an accessible way, saves everyone time.

Each type/figuration includes :
- the name of the institution that holds the specimen
- the inventory number
- a link to the figuration on the institution's website
- the author of the photograph, the possible program in which the analysis is carried out
- the bibliographical references of diagnosis and figuration
- the status of the specimen(s):  figured, cast, type, holotype, syntype, lectotype, paratype, neotype, paralectotype, plesiotype, etc: indicated by a sticker. (see below)


Intertional Commission on Zoological Nomenclature


Nomenclature terms used on this site

The definitions given below are only the "chapter headings" and represent some of the terms that are referred to as "primary types" (except plastotype). It is necessary to carefully consult the Code of Zoological Nomenclature to understand the full meaning of each term. To do this, we give after each definition the reference of the article in the Code.


To learn more

You can consult the Code in its entirety with this link : https://www.iczn.org/the-code/the-international-code-of-zoological-nomenclature/the-code-online/

Clear and simplified definitions are also available on the GBIF website (Global Biodiversity Information Facility)  http://gbif.github.io/parsers/apidocs/org/gbif/api/vocabulary/TypeStatus.html



A specimen upon which a subsequent or additional description or figure is based; any specimen indentified with a described or named species by a person other than the describer.

The term "plesiotype" is NOT in the Code glossary, but it is essentially a synonym of paratype. Some have used it to denote a specimen "farther removed" from the type specimen than a paratype. (Sce 1995 George Olshevsky)

A specimen that was not part of the original type series of the species, but is known from a published description, figure, or listing.



can also be called "plastotype" if the cast concerns a "type".



Each specimen of a former syntype series remaining after the designation of a lectotype [Art. 72.1.3, Recommendation 74F].



The single specimen designated as the name-bearing type of a nominal species or subspecies when there is a need to define the nominal taxon objectively and no name-bearing type is believed to be extant. If stability and universality are threatened, because an existing name-bearing type is either taxonomically inadequate or not in accord with the prevailing usage of a name, the Commission may use its plenary power to set aside that type and designate a neotype.



called hypotype : A specimen that was not part of the original type series of the species, but is known from a published description, figure, or listing. (Sce GBIF).

Use of the term "type" relating to specimens

The term "type" forms part of many compound terms used by taxonomists to distinguish between particular kinds of specimens, only some of which are name-bearing types. For the purposes of the Code, three categories of specimens are regulated, namely

72.1.1. type series: all the specimens on which the author established a nominal species-group taxon (with the exception of those excluded [Art. 72.4.1]); in the absence of holotype designation, or the designation of syntypes, or the subsequent designation of a lectotype, all are syntypes and collectively they constitute the name-bearing type;

72.1.2. name-bearing types: specimens with a name-bearing function, whether fixed originally (holotype [Art. 73.1] or syntypes [Art. 73.2]) or fixed subsequently (lectotype [Art. 74] or neotype [Art. 75]);

72.1.3. other specimens: those without a name-bearing function (paratypes [Art. 72.4.5], paralectotypes [Arts. 73.2.2, 74.1.3]; see Glossary for definitions).

Syntypes are specimens of a type series that collectively constitute the name-bearing type. They may have been expressly designated as syntypes (see [Art. 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.
Each specimen of a type series other than the holotype [Recommendation 73D].
A holotype is the single specimen upon which a new nominal species-group taxon is based in the original publication, see Art.73.1



A syntype designated as the single name-bearing type specimen subsequent to the establishment of a nominal species or subspecies [Art. 74].