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Type: Correspondence
Published: 2024-03-19
Page range: 70-73
Abstract views: 4
PDF downloaded: 0

Wagler vs. Fitzinger: Leposternon microcephalus, a fight over gender (Sauria, Amphisbaenidae)

Society for Southeast Asian Herpetology; Calle Rio Segura 26; 30600 Archena/Murcia; Spain
Sauria Amphisbaenidae Leposternon microcephalus gender


This short note provides some insight into an academic “battle” between early 19th century herpetologists about a small but interesting nomenclatural issue, namely the grammatically correct gender of a species epithet. Most texts used in the current note (Wagler in Spix 1824; Fitzinger 1826a‒b; Schlegel 1826; Wagler 1827) were published in 19th century German, which sometimes made use of vocabulary that is no longer employed nowadays. The old German texts are translated here into English in a way that they reflect modern language as much as possible.


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  3. Cacciali, P., Scott, N. J., Aquino Ortíz, A. L., Fitzgerald, L. A. & Smith, P. (2016) The Reptiles of Paraguay: literature, distribution, and an annotated taxonomic checklist. Special Publication of the Museum of Southwestern Biology, 11: 1–373.
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  7. Fitzinger, L. (1826b) Neue Classification der Reptilien nach ihren natürlichen Verwandtschaften nebst einer Verwandschafts-Tafel und einem Verzeichnisse der Reptilien-Sammlung des K. K. Zoologischen Museums zu Wien. Wien (J. G. Heubner): i‒viii + 1–66, 1 tab. <>.
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  10. Spix, J. de (1824) Serpentum brasiliensium species novae, ou histoire naturelle des espèces nouvelles de serpens recueillies et observées pendant le voyage dans l’intérieur du Brésil dans les années 1817, 1818, 1819, 1820, exécuté par ordre de sa majesté le roi de Bavière, écrite d’après les notes du voyageur par Jean Wagler. Monachii (Typis Franc. Seraph. Hübschmanni): i‒viii + 1–75 + [i], pl. 1‒26 + 2a‒b. <>.
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