Paleonet: question about holotype specimens

Jozsef Palfy palfy at
Thu Aug 23 14:58:20 GMT 2007

Dear All,

I'm still working on the type catalogue of our museum.

I've bumped into the following problem:

A decapod crustacean species was described and its holotype designated 
as a carapax, declared in the publication to be deposited in the Vienna 
Nat Hist Museum, whereas the paratypes were deposited in our museum in 
Budapest. When checking all the paratypes, I have noticed that we also 
have in our holding the external mould of the holotype carapax.

Would our specimen, the external mould, also qualify as holotype, as it 
constitutes the fossil record of the same individual? Or should the 
holotype be understood as a unique physical fossil specimen, or solely 
the one that was stated originally by the author?

I have browsed through the relevant sections of the ICZN but remained 
ambiguous. I appeal to your collective wisdom - thanks for any help in 
interpretation or comments you may have.



Jozsef Palfy
Senior Research Scientist
Research Group for Paleontology
Hungarian Academy of Sciences-Hungarian Natural History Museum
POB 137, Budapest, H-1431 Hungary
Phone: +36 1 210-1075/ext. 2310 or +36 1 338 3905
Fax: +36 1 338 2728
E-mail: palfy at

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