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Tuatara: Volume 18, Issue 2, July 1970

The Selection Of Lectotypes In Palaeobotany

page 96

The Selection Of Lectotypes In Palaeobotany.

The Editor, Tuatara,

In my Curation of the collection of New Zealand fossil plants at the Canterbury Museum, I have had to make decisions concerning the problem of selection of lectotypes as described by Mildenhall (1970).

The Canterbury Museum, together with the Otago Museum, holds the specimens of Cretaceous and Tertiary plants described by Ettingshausen (1887). An English translation, with inferior illustrations, was later published in New Zealand (Ettingshausen, 1891).

I am in agreement with Mildenhall except when he states that ‘the designation of the lectotype should be made by a competent palaeobotanist’. This should certainly be true for all except one case, the case listed by Mildenhall as 2(b). This is where the describer of a new species has based his description on a series of specimens and has illustrated only one of these, but has not otherwise designated a nomenclatural type of the species. Mildenhall concludes from Article 7, Note 6, of the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (1966) that the figured specimen must be the lectotype. Obviously this is a case in which the designation of the lectotype can be done by a person who is not necessarily a ‘competent palaeobotanist’. If the figured specimen still exists, it is mandatory for it to be the lectotype.

D. R. Gregg,

Canterbury Museum,

Ettingshausen, C. von, 1887: Beitrâge zur Kenntniss der fossilen Flora Neuseelands. Denkschr. Akad. Wiss., Wien 53: 143-194.

Ettingshausen, C. von, 1891: Contributions to the Knowledge of the Fossil Flora of New Zealand. Trans. Proc. N.Z. Inst. 23: 237-310.

International Code of Botanical Nomenclature, 1966. International Association for Plant Taxonomy, Utrecht.

Mildenhall, D. C., 1970: The Selection of Lectotypes in Palaeobotany. Tuatara 17 (3): 131-2.

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