Comments on the proposed conservation of usage of Testudo gigantea Schweigger, 1812 (currently Geochelone (Aldabrachelys) gigantea; Reptilia, Testudines) 10

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2009
Authors:Fleischer-Dogley, F, Chong-Seng, L, Bunbury, N, Doak, N, Kristoferson, L, Lundin, CG, Lablache, P, Loustau-Lalanne, M, Dogley, D, Blackmore, S, Rowat, D, Skerrett, A
Journal:Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature
Volume:66
Issue:2
Start Page:180
Pagination:180-181
Date Published:06/2009
Type of Article:Comment
ISSN:0007-5167
Full Text

We write on behalf of the Seychelles Islands Foundation (SIF) and the
SIF Science Committee in support of the petition by Jack Frazier to the
ICZN to stabilise the name of the Aldabra giant tortoise, using the
established name Testudo gigantea (currently Geochelone [Aldabrachelys] gigantea) and to suppress usage of Testudo dussumieri Gray, 1831 (currently Dipsochelys dussumieri) as published in the BZN 66(1)
March, 2009. The Seychelles Islands Foundation is a Public Trust which
was established in 1979 and is responsible for managing and protecting
the two UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Seychelles: Aldabra Atoll and
the Vallée de Mai on Praslin. SIF coordinates all research and
monitoring conducted at these two sites, including all work on the
Aldabra giant tortoise on the atoll. Within SIF, on Aldabra and in the
Seychelles in general, T. gigantea (currently G. gigantea)
is the recognised name used for the Aldabra tortoise. It is most widely
used in the literature and appears in SIF official documents. This name
has been in continuous use for over 100 years and has been recognised
as the oldest name for the species for more than 50 years. Since 1982,
when Bour argued that the name should be changed to Dipsochelys elephantina, which was followed by another proposal in 2006 to change the name to Dipsochelys dussumieri,
there has been nomenclatural chaos. The current lack of clarity in the
nomenclature has caused and continues to cause great confusion amongst
researchers and organisations working with the Aldabra tortoise. In
view of this confusion, it is becoming increasingly necessary to
stabilise the nomenclature and fix the name of the Aldabra tortoise.
The most straightforward way to achieve this would be to maintain the
neotype for T. gigantea (USNM 269962) that was designated in 2006, and to suppress Dipsochelys dussumieri.

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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