Type Localities - Why They are Important

Every species described was first described from a specimen collected at a specific location - the Type Locality. This specimen is known as the Holotype. Over the years some Holotypes are lost and with them their collecting data, including the type location, or it was never recorded. But by and large this information is known. Just as the Holotype is the individual that represents the entire species, the Type Locality is the place where a scientist knows a specimen collected is in fact the species as originally described.

When doing a revision of a group, particularly a DNA-based phylogentic revision, having specimens from the Type Locality is incredibly important. It allows us to be sure that what we collected is in fact what we think it is and not a very similar individual. We have managed to collect a good number of specimens from type localities, which are referred to a Type Specimens. Others have come from the people at iNaturalist. By receiving specimens from people across the country we get material from areas we would never get to (or never get to at the right time).

Okanagana arboraria from Davis
O. catalina from Catalina Island (collected with a permit)
O. formosa (from Cedar Springs, Utah)
O. ornata (from Shasta, CA)
O. utahensis (from Cedar Springs, Utah)

All of these are from the type locality or very close. We have a number of others that are within 100km or less of the Type locality which is pretty darn good. It's virtually impossible to get type material for every species even when we target them, but what we have gotten is incredibly important for our research.

Publicado por willc-t willc-t, 15 de julho de 2020, 10:52 MANHÃ


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