Comments on the proposed conservation of usage of Testudo gigantea Schweigger, 1812 (currently Geochelone (Aldabrachelys) gigantea; Reptilia, Testudines) 14

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2009
Authors:Reynolds, RP
Journal:Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature
Start Page:182
Date Published:06/2009
Type of Article:Comment
Full Text

I am writing in support of the arguments presented by J. Frazier in Case 3463 to conserve the usage of Testudo gigantea Schweigger, 1812 and to suppress Testudo dussumieri Gray,
1831. I and my coauthors reviewed this issue thoroughly when we
published our ‘Catalog of Type Specimens of Recent Crocodilia and
Testudines in the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian
Institution’ (Reynolds, R.P., Gotte, S.W. & Ernst, C.H. 2007. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology, 626: 1–49). At that time we were highly skeptical of the supposed rediscovery of the holotype of Testudo gigantea Schweigger, 1812 by Bour (2006), and we remain unconvinced of the validity of MNHN 9554 as the holotype of T. gigantea Schweigger, 1812. With consideration to the original description of Testudo gigantea by
Schweigger, the assertion by Bour (2006) of the rediscovery of the
holotype is neither particularly convincing nor unequivocal. Because of
the uncertainty of the supposed rediscovery of the holotype, and for
the sake of nomenclatural stability based on more than a century of
usage of T. gigantea for the Aldabra tortoise, I encourage the Commissioners to support the petition of Case 3463.

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