Can a photograph or holograph be a type specimen?

No, but the specimen depicted can be. Where a species name has been based on a photograph, illustration or description, the name-bearing type is considered to be the specimen(s) illustrated or described (Article 72.5.6; 73.1.4) the fact that the specimen is no longer extant does not mean that the species name is unavailable. While it is highly desirable to have a type specimen or part of a specimen permanently deposited in a museum or other publicly available collection, very occasionally it may be impractical, for example if it is unethical to kill or injure an individual of a highly endangered mammal. Other forms of evidence e.g. photographs, sonograms, may contribute to an original description in demonstrating that a type specimen existed, where the type specimen has to be released live. In these situations it is not necessary to deposit types in a Museum - the statement of intent to deposit types in a collection required for new species names published after 1999 is only necessary where types are extant (Article 16.4.2).

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Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith