Glossary Term: Paratype

In systematic botany, a paratype is defined by the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICN/ICBN) as “a specimen cited in the protologue (i.e., the original description) that is neither the holotype nor an isotype, nor one of the syntypes if two or more specimens were simultaneously designated as types” (Art. 9.5). Under this definition, paratypes are not necessarily explicitly identified as such in the original description. Paratypes are useful in that they allow subsequent botanists to know what collections were examined by the original author and considered part of the same taxon in preparing the description of a new taxon, particularly when the holotype and isotypes may be unavailable, of poor quality, or lacking in certain details. Paratypes are also useful in providing one or more collections from which a lectotype may be designated if no holotype, isotype, syntype, or isosyntype is extant (Art. 9.10).

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Created: 2019-06-26 14:46:41 PDT (-0700)
Last modified: 2019-06-26 14:46:41 PDT (-0700)