2. The type concept is considered a cornerstone of stability. Do you think non-physical types (i.e. images, or data such as DNA sequence) should be allowed as types? Which Article(s) deal with this in the ICZN Code?

Comments

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Submitted by rebet on

Article 72.5.6 states that an illustration or description
cannot be a type however the specimen it depicts can be. This also relates to
DNA data, which, if extracted from a type specimen is technically still part of
the type, however if this DNA is amplified for further study then the amplified
DNA is no longer part of the animal and therefore not a type but it’s
considered a description of the DNA within the type.

I agree with the above treatment of what cannot be considered
as types. In order to preserve stability, then only the specimen itself can be
a type. Illustrations and descriptions have the potential to be misinterpreted
or to not accurately reflect the specimen. DNA that has been amplified is no
longer the pure DNA of the specimen and also has potential to be corrupted.
However these non-physical types can still contribute to the overall meaning of
the type specimen and should be kept with it but with the clear boundary
between the type species and supporting material.

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