Comments on the proposed conservation of usage of Testudo gigantea Schweigger, 1812 (currently Geochelone (Aldabrachelys) gigantea; Reptilia, Testudines) 1

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2009
Authors:Takahashi, A
Journal:Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature
Start Page:274
Date Published:09/2009
Type of Article:Comment
Full Text

My colleagues and I (Takahashi et al., 2003) published a paper in which we made morphological and taxonomic comparisons of a fossil tortoise with other testudines. We have become aware that there has been great nomenclatural debate and uncertainty about the name of the Aldabra tortoise, and after studying the recent publication of Case 3463 in the Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature, it is clear that the nomenclatural instability adds greatly to the complications of scientific research.

It is therefore very important to fix the name of the Aldabra tortoise, and the detailed explanation in Case 3463 shows why this should be based on the name that has been in use for more than a century. The maintenance of the neotype of T. gigantea, based on a specimen of known locality and exhibiting gigantism, a critical character of this species, will be the most satisfactory way to fix the name, and facilitate scientific investigation in various fields that need stable names.

Additional references
Takahashi, A., Hirayama, R. & Otsuka, H. 2003. A new species of the genus Manouria (Testudines: Testudinidae) from the Upper Pleistocene of the Ryukyu Islands, Japan. Paleontological Research, 7(3): 195–217.

Taxonomic Group(s): 
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith