The Patent Office has responded to my patent application by asserting that the figures identify four "patentably distinct species" of invention. "The species are independent or distinct because they reveal various embodiments of the mount."
In fact, three of the sets of figures show three slight variants of the same basic idea. These three variants are identical except that one of them involves a retaining pin in the declination axis, and the other two "species" put the retaining pin in extensions to the axis attached via either a threaded hole or a threaded stud.
I think there's a strong case that these are actually all the same invention--not distinct "species." (The fourth variant, I suspect, probably does qualify as a "patentably distinct species" of invention.)
Anyway, I need to respond in the next couple of weeks with an election of a particular species in the event that my generic claim is not allowed. But there is also the option of filing a "traverse," which is patent lingo for appealing the patent examiner's decision. I have to elect one of the species to continue onward with the patent application--and argue in my "traverse" why they should regard the first three "species" as essentially the same invention. I can see a way to modify the first claim on my application so that it covers the three very similar embodiments.
I'm looking for an example of a mechanical invention to use as boilerplate where someone has elected a particular "species" and filed a traverse as well. If you have an example to point to, I would appreciate it.