The original 1995 TEX-LL on-line type register was made available as a result of funding by the National Science Foundation to computerize and disseminate information on the University of Texas Herbaria type specimens. The additions that led to the present incarnation (May 2003, latest update June 2007), with images and more complete data, were accomplished through the support of the normal operating funds of the Plant Resources Center (Dr. Beryl B. Simpson, Director; Dr. José Panero, Associate Director), in part using infrastructure available due to further NSF support, as detailed below.
This database contains all verified vascular plant type material housed (as of June 2007) at the Plant Resources Center (PRC) of The University of Texas at Austin; the PRC includes the University of Texas (TEX) and Lundell (LL) Herbaria. This catalog has information on type specimens of over 6300 names (represented by over 7500 type specimens--that is, including duplicates), with over 2000 holotypes. Not surprisingly, the type register reflects the history and strengths of the PRC, which is a major center of systematic botany research for northern Latin America and the southwestern United States. It is especially strong in Mexican material, as reflected by the 2738 taxa with types from Mexico (3250 specimens, 43% of TEX-LL's type holdings). TEX-LL also has 630 type specimens (431 taxa) from Guatemala and 292 (190 taxa) from Belize. Of the 1156 type specimens (987 taxa) from the United States represented in the TEX-LL type collection, 512 (409 taxa) are from Texas.
Important type collections housed in the PRC include those of D. S. Correll, C. G. Pringle, S. F. Blake, C. H. Muller, H. Le Sueur, and I. M. Johnston, as well as those of Lundell, Matuda, Contreras, and Gentle from Mexico and northern Central America. Many duplicates and isotypes of the George and James Hinton and Robert Runyon collections are also deposited at TEX-LL, as well as type material for many of the taxa in Correll's books on aquatic plants and the tuberous Solanum. In addition, the PRC has significant numbers of Ekman types from the West Indies and H. H. Smith types from Colombia. As a result of the more than 80 Ph.D. dissertations in plant systematics that have been awarded here in the last 30 years, types of many genera are dispersed across a wide array of families at TEX.
The largest family represented in the type collection is the Asteraceae with types of 1399 taxa recognized and verified to date. The next largest families are Myrsinaceae (470 taxa), studied by C. L. Lundell, and Verbenaceae (430) and Eriocaulaceae (418), studied by Harold Moldenke. Type specimens of 315 taxa of Fabaceae (in the broad sense) are included. Other families studied intensively by C. L. Lundell are well represented: Myrtaceae (131 taxa), Celastraceae (128), Lauraceae (95), and Sapotaceae (75). A total of 1124 taxa described by Dr. Lundell are represented in the type collection. Types of 476 taxa described by B. L. Turner, long-time director of the PRC, are present, 338 of these in Asteraceae; while 140 taxa described by G. L. Nesom (including 91 Asteraceae) are represented by types.
The LL, TEX type database includes holotypes, isotypes, syntypes, syntypes, lectotypes, isolectotypes, neotypes and isoneotypes, but not paratypes or topotypes. Fragments of types are generally distinguished as such, even though they are technically isotypes, isolectotypes, or etc. All types have been verified by either checking the original publication or accepting the annotation of an expert in that group of plants; in the latter case most have been checked in the literature as well.
The most problematic field is the current name designation. Nomenclatural changes sometimes are not noted on the pertinent specimens and taxonomic views often vary widely among specialists. Thus, we generally accepted the most recent annotation label on the specimen itself as the current name. The utility of the database thus is not to determine current synonymy, but rather to locate type material that will facilitate systematic study. A blank current name field means either that the basionym is a currently accepted name as far as we are aware, or that synonymy has not yet been investigated by us for this taxon. Very often, the latter is that case.
Querying the on-line database is straightforward. The query fields are of the "contained in" rather than the "equal to" type; that is, a query of "Panero" in the collector field will return all records in which the name "Panero" appears in that field, regardless of whether other words are also in that field or not.
Digital JPEG images are included of most of the types (6715 [nearly 90%] at present). Many of the specimens for which specimens are not available are presently on loan to other institutions; eventually, all type specimens will be imaged and included. Imaging was done using a setup design and protocols based on those used by the New York Botanical Garden and modified for use at the PRC by Dr. José Panero.
Some browsers automatically condense image sizes to completely fit on the screen. This process causes much of the detail of the image to be lost. Full-detail images can be viewed on these browsers by the following method.
The original type database was largely the work of Carol Todzia, with funding through NSF collections grants DEB-8716949, DEB-9020277, and DBI-9407764 (Beryl Simpson, Principal Investigator on all); these grants also provided numerous infrastructural improvements at the PRC that much facilitated the present project. The digital imaging system and protocols used were the result of the efforts of Dr. José Panero and NSF grant DBI-9987515, for which he was Principal Investigator. Support from the National Science Foundation is gratefully acknowledged. Updating of the database has been done mostly by Olga Ricalde-Moreno and Kathy Loh; type specimen imaging was mostly done by Amy Patton, Marta Dias-Moraes, and Heidi Berg. Dan Bode translated all the data and images into a functioning website.
We ask that users advise us of any errors in the information in this database. Corrections and comments on the database are welcomed. Other comments regarding the on-line service are also solicited. Please direct to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Wendt, Curator, PRC
last updated 21 June 2007