The application of names of taxa of the rank of superfamily or below, and of those names of taxa in the higher ranks that are ultimately based on generic names, is determined by means of types (name-bearing types). The unit formed by the name and its type is referred to as the nominal taxon.
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A type is that element to which the name of a taxon is permanently attached, whether it be an accepted name or not.
A new name based on a previously published acceptable name, for instance, as a new combination or as a replacement for an older name (see Art. 8), is typified by the type of the older name.
The nature of types of names of new taxa is as defined in the relevant Special Code.
When the name of a species or subordinate taxon has no acceptable designated type, a type may be designated. Designation must comply with the rules in the relevant Special Code.
When no single type was designated for the name of a new taxon, a lectotype may be designated.
If a type specimen is lost or destroyed, or is unavailable for consultation for an indefinite period of time, a neotype may be designated to serve as type so long as the original type is unavailable or missing.
When a type specimen contains parts belonging to more than one taxon, a part of it may be designated as type so as to fix the application of the name.
When a type cannot be critically identified for purposes of the precise application of the name of a taxon, and it is desirable to fix that application, an epitype may be designated. Suitability of a designated epitype may be challenged (see Div. III.9).
In order to be established, on and after the relevant starting date for mandatory registration (Art. 5.2), type designations as provided for in Art. 16.1–5 must be registered (Art. 5.1; see also Art. 12).