Comment on the proposed precedence of Chelodina rugosa Ogilby, 1890 (currently Macrochelodina rugosa; Reptilia, Testudines) over Chelodina oblonga Gray, 1841 (Case 3351)

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2008
Authors:U. Fritz
Journal:Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature
Volume:65
Issue:1
Start Page:62
Pagination:62
Date Published:03/2008
Type of Article:Comment
ISSN:0007-5167
Full Text

 I write in support of the proposed precedence of Chelodina rugosa Ogilby, 1890 over Chelodina oblonga Gray, 1841 for the reasons specified in Case 3351 and Thomson’s (2007) Comment (BZN 64: 127–128). Further, I support usage of the name Chelodina colliei Gray, 1856 for the species known under the misapplied name Chelodina oblonga Gray, 1841 for the past 40 years (see Case 3351). When it is considered that the same species was correctly namedChelodina colliei Gray, 1856 for 136 years, perpetuating the misapplication seems to be a bad choice, although Savage (2007, BZN 64: 68) suggested this by his application to the Commission to set aside all previous designations of type specimen for Chelodina oblonga Gray, 1841 and to designate as its neotype BMNH 1947.3.5.91, the lectotype of Chelodina colliei Gray, 1856. However, Savage (2007) overlooked the long correct usage of Chelodina colliei Gray, 1856 (see Thomson’s reply in BZN 64: 127–128).
  In conclusion, the suggestions and considerations in Thomson’s Case 3351 and Comment in BZN 64: 127–128 seem reasonable and the best solution to a nomenclatural problem. Therefore, the name Chelodina colliei was already accepted in the recently published ‘Checklist of Chelonians of the World’ (Fritz & Havaš 2007, Vertebrate Zoology 57: 149–368), serving as standard reference for CITES.
  Though, the matter became somewhat more complicated in the meantime. In a hobbyist journal, McCord & Joseph-Ouni (2007, Reptilia 52: 56–64) ‘rejected’ the holotype of Chelodina oblonga Gray, 1841 and designated the lectotype ofChelodina colliei Gray, 1856 as neotype of Chelodina oblonga Gray, 1841, thereby repeating the arguments of Savage (2007) without mentioning Savage’s Comment in the BZN. It is obvious from Article 75.6 of the Code that for such action the plenary power of the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature is needed. Therefore, the lectotype designation by McCord & Joseph-Ouni (2007) is invalid and unwelcome, contributing only to further confusion.

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