Paleotestudo antiqua Bronn 1831 (turtle)

Reptilia - Testudines - Pantestudinidae

(Corsini et al. 2014): Given that we were not able to identify a single individual from Bronn’s (1831) original syntype series, we herein designate the best-preserved specimen, MT PAL 2012.0.10, as the neotype, and abandon the lectotype designation by Schleich (1981). The original description of T. antiqua is based on shell material from three to four specimens collected at Hohenhowen, but Bronn’s (1831) descriptions and illustrations are insufficient for identification of the individuals in that original syntype series within the available material. Von Meyer (1865) clearly illustrated FFSM 3446.1, perhaps also UFGC 9, and stated that Bronn examined those two in his original work, but we were unable to independently verify this assertion. Schleich (1981) felt compelled to designate SMNS 4450, a poorly prepared and extremely deformed individual, as the lectotype, probably because it was readily available at the Stuttgart Museum (SMNS). However, given that we found no evidence that SMNS 4450 was indeed part of the syntype series, the designation of a lectotype is dubious to us, and we also question the assignment of type status to a specimen with so many missing characters. Karl (2013) more recently argued that the specimen housed at the University of Freiburg Geological Museum (UFGC 9) should be the lectotype, based mainly upon the fact that von Meyer (1865) was thought to have viewed that specimen. However, he makes no clear connection between that specimen and the specimens viewed by Bronn in 1806. The designation of a lectotype is therefore not valid, as lectotypes must demonstrably be part of the original syntype series. We therefore conclude that a neotype designation is appropriate, and designate MT PAL.2012.0.10 as the neotype because: 1) it originates from the type locality; 2) it is the best preserved specimen; and 3) it is easily accessible in a large public collection. We finally note that one specimen at FFSM is also quite well preserved, but we omitted this specimen from consideration, because it is not housed at a regular, public museum.

Synonyms: Paleotestudo canetotiana Lartet 1851, Paleotestudo catalaunica Bataller 1926, Stylemys canetotiana Lartet 1851, Testudo (Chersine) catalaunica Bataller 1926, Testudo canetotiana Lartet 1851, Testudo catalaunica Bataller 1926

Belongs to Paleotestudo according to A. Pérez-García 2017

See also Auffenberg 1964, Bataller 1926, Lujan et al. 2016 and Perez-Garcia and Murelaga 2013

Sister taxa: Cheirogaster arrahonensis, Paralichelys catalaunicus

Type specimens:

  • Paleotestudo antiqua: MT PAL 2012.0.10 (neotype), a shell. Its type locality is Hohenhowen, which is in a Miocene terrestrial gypsum in Germany.
  • Testudo canetotiana:
  • Testudo catalaunica: MGSB25324a (Lectotype), a partial shell. Its type locality is Sant Quirze, which is in a Miocene terrestrial horizon in Spain.

Ecology: ground dwelling herbivore-herbivore

Distribution:

• Miocene of Spain (8 collections)

Total: 8 collections each including a single occurrence

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Specimen images are retrieved through the ePANDDA API.


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