Article 75. Neotypes

75.1. Definition

A neotype is the name-bearing type of a nominal species-group taxon designated under conditions specified in this Article when no name-bearing type specimen (i.e. holotype, lectotype, syntype or prior neotype) is believed to be extant and an author considers that a name-bearing type is necessary to define the nominal taxon objectively. The continued existence of paratypes or paralectotypes does not in itself preclude the designation of a neotype.

75.2. Circumstances excluded

A neotype is not to be designated as an end in itself, or as a matter of curatorial routine, and any such neotype designation is invalid.

Example. If an author designates a neotype for Xus albus Smith, a species about whose identity there is no doubt and which is not involved in any complex zoological problem at the time at which it was designated, the purported "neotype" has no name-bearing status.

75.3. Qualifying conditions

A neotype is validly designated when there is an exceptional need and only when that need is stated expressly and when the designation is published with the following particulars:

75.3.1. a statement that it is designated with the express purpose of clarifying the taxonomic status or the type locality of a nominal taxon;

75.3.2. a statement of the characters that the author regards as differentiating from other taxa the nominal species-group taxon for which the neotype is designated, or a bibliographic reference to such a statement;

75.3.3. data and description sufficient to ensure recognition of the specimen designated;

75.3.4. the author's reasons for believing the name-bearing type specimen(s) (i.e. holotype, or lectotype, or all syntypes, or prior neotype) to be lost or destroyed, and the steps that had been taken to trace it or them;

75.3.5. evidence that the neotype is consistent with what is known of the former name-bearing type from the original description and from other sources; however, a neotype may be based on a different sex or life stage, if necessary or desirable to secure stability of nomenclature;

75.3.6. evidence that the neotype came as nearly as practicable from the original type locality [Art. 76.1] and, where relevant, from the same geological horizon or host species as the original name-bearing type (see also Article 76.3 and Recommendation 76A.1);

75.3.7. a statement that the neotype is, or immediately upon publication has become, the property of a recognized scientific or educational institution, cited by name, that maintains a research collection, with proper facilities for preserving name-bearing types, and that makes them accessible for study.

75.4. Priority

The first neotype designation published for a nominal species-group taxon in accordance with the provisions of this Article is valid and no subsequent designation, except one made by the Commission under the plenary power [Art. 78.1], has any validity (also see Article 75.8 for the status of a neotype if a former name-bearing type is rediscovered).

75.4.1. If a validly designated neotype is lost or destroyed, a new neotype, if one is designated to replace it, must satisfy the provisions of this Article.

Recommendation 75A. Choice of neotypes. Authors are advised to choose neotypes from any surviving paratypes or paralectotypes unless there are compelling reasons to the contrary, such as data inadequate to meet taxonomic requirements, the poor condition of the specimens, or probable mixture of taxa. All things being equal, topotypic specimens (see Glossary) from the type series should be given preference.

Recommendation 75B. Consultation with specialists. Before designating a neotype, an author should be satisfied that the proposed designation does not arouse serious objection from other specialists in the group in question.

75.5. Replacement of unidentifiable name-bearing type by a neotype

When an author considers that the taxonomic identity of a nominal species-group taxon cannot be determined from its existing name-bearing type (i.e. its name is a nomen dubium), and stability or universality are threatened thereby, the author may request the Commission to set aside under its plenary power [Art. 81] the existing name-bearing type and designate a neotype.

Example. The holotype of the ammonite species Cycloceras laevigatum M'Coy, 1844 lacked important diagnostic features. Upon request the Commission under its plenary power set aside the type status of this specimen and designated a neotype (Opinion 1720 (1993)).

75.6. Conservation of prevailing usage by a neotype

When an author discovers that the existing name-bearing type of a nominal species-group taxon is not in taxonomic accord with the prevailing usage of names and stability or universality is threatened thereby, he or she should maintain prevailing usage [Art. 82] and request the Commission to set aside under its plenary power [Art. 81] the existing name-bearing type and designate a neotype.

Example. On discovering that the only existing type specimen of Aradus caucasicus Kolenati, 1857 (Heteroptera) was a specimen of another species, Kerzhner & Heiss (1993) proposed that the prevailing usage of the names of both species should be conserved by the designation of a neotype for A. caucasicus under the Commission's plenary power, and this was accepted in Opinion 1783 (1994).

75.7. Status of neotypes designated before 1961

A neotype designation published before 1961 takes effect from its date of publication if it then fulfilled all the provisions of this Article; it is invalid if it did not fulfil them.

Recommendation 75C. Invalid designations. An author who published an invalid neotype designation before 1961 should if possible be given an opportunity to make it valid before another author designates a neotype for the same nominal species-group taxon.

Recommendation 75D. Preference for earlier invalid "neotypes". If an invalid neotype designation was published before 1961, the specimen then designated should be given preference when a neotype for the same nominal species-group taxon is validly designated.

75.8. Status of rediscovered former name-bearing types

If, after the designation of a neotype, the name-bearing type (holotype, syntypes, lectotype or previous neotype) of the nominal species-group taxon that was (were) presumed lost is (are) found still to exist, on publication of that discovery the rediscovered material again becomes the name-bearing type and the neotype is set aside (unless, following an application, the Commission rules that the neotype is to be retained as the name-bearing type).