Comments on the proposed conservation of usage of Testudo gigantea Schweigger, 1812 (currently Geochelone (Aldabrachelys) gigantea; Reptilia, Testudines) 7

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2009
Authors:C. Kenneth Dodd, J
Journal:Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature
Volume:66
Issue:2
Start Page:179
Pagination:179
Date Published:06/2009
Type of Article:Comment
ISSN:0007-5167
Full Text

I have read the petition submitted by Jack Frazier regarding the Aldabra Tortoise, Geochelone (Aldabrachelys) gigantea (BZN 66:
34–50). Frazier has presented an accurate and unbiased summary of the
highly complex nomenclatural history of this species. I concur with his
conclusion that the many name changes proposed for this species have
resulted unnecessarily in immense confusion, particularly among
non-tortoise specialists and researchers and administrators working in
conservation biology. I absolutely concur with his position that: 1)
USNM 269962 should be designated as the neotype of this taxon; 2) the
name dussumieri should be suppressed; 3) the names Aldabrachelys and gigantea should be placed on the Official Lists of Generic and Specific Names in Zoology as specified in the petition; and 4) the name dussumieri should be placed on the Official Index of Rejected and Invalid Specific Names, as regards Testudo dussumieri.
Only by this action will the Commission be able to stabilise giant
tortoise taxonomy in a manner which accurately reflects what is known
from original descriptions and type designations. Changes in tortoise
nomenclature are counterproductive in advancing clarity, accuracy, and
the conservation of this species. In that regard, Frazier is commended
for taking the time to exhaustively document Aldabra tortoise
nomenclature and for preparing this petition.

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