Comments on the proposed conservation of usage of Testudo gigantea Schweigger, 1812 (currently Geochelone (Aldabrachelys) gigantea; Reptilia, Testudines) 16

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2009
Authors:Parham, JF
Journal:Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature
Volume:66
Issue:1
Start Page:86
Pagination:86
Date Published:03/2009
Type of Article:Comment
ISSN:0007-5167
Full Text

 I support the petition described in Case 3463 to conserve the name Testudo gigantea Schweigger, 1812 for the Aldabra tortoise by retaining USNM 269962 as the neotype of this taxon and suppressing Testudo dussumieri Gray,
1831. There has been substantial nomenclatural chaos and confusion
about what is the correct name for Aldabra tortoises. For over 100
years, the name Testudo gigantea was widely used for Aldabran tortoises. Testudo gigantea was designated as the type species of Aldabrachelys by Loveridge and Williams (1957) and the names Geochelone gigantea and Aldabrachelys gigantea remain
the most widely used names for Aldabran tortoises today. This is
despite the fact that Bour (1982) created confusion by claiming that
the type of Testudo gigantea was certainly a Mascarene tortoise (genus Cylindraspis) and then later (Bour, 2006) claiming that it refers to a South American tortoise (genus Chelonoidis). The rediscovery of the holotype of T. gigantea is
not unequivocally proven and will continue to provoke debate about the
name and nomenclatural instability. Therefore the simplest solution is
to maintain USNM 269962 as the neotype of T. gigantea and suppress T. dussumieri Gray, 1831, as recommended by Frazier (2006) and detailed in Case 3463.

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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