Sunday, November 29, 2009

Neotype designation

In a recent revision of the Formica rufibarbis group, Seifert and Schultz designated a neotype for one of Europe's most common ant, Formica rufibarbis.

"Type material examined: F. rufibarbis: Neotype worker labelled "FRA: 44.073°N, 7.295°E, St. Martin Vesubie, Cime de la Palu, 2058 m R. Schultz 2002.05.14 -108" and "Neotype Formica rufibarbis Fabricius 1793, des. Seifert & Schultz 2009"; SMN Goerlitz. In case of destruction or loss of the neotype specimen, a replacement neotype can be designated from a series of 6 mounted workers and 14 workers in ethanol from the same nest sample, having identical sample number, kept in SMN Goerlitz and coll. RS."

There is nothing against the designation of a neotype, but it seems odd, that the authors designate a neotype, and do not place it in the Fabricius collection in Copenhagen, or at least disseminate paraneotypes to the major European ant collections that would allow comparing this new type with new material. Furthermore, I wonder why they choose not a nest series that includes all the casts, including male, queens and worker.