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Review
Published: 2022-01-25

A review of Chelonian type specimens (order Testudines)

Department of Biology, Earlham College, Richmond, Indiana, 47374, USA
Testudines holotype paratype syntype lectotype neotype turtle tortoise

Abstract

Type specimens are the cornerstones of modern taxonomy and systematics, and should be the starting point of any study of diversity, especially considering the increasing ability to sample them genetically.  However, no compilation of type material (beyond holotypes) exists for turtles (Order Testudines). This is the first attempt to locate and compile a list of all type specimens (holotypes, paratypes, syntypes, lectotypes, neotypes, etc.) for all described turtles, whether currently recognized or synonymized. A total of 1222 named taxa are included here (including synonyms), but only 875 of them (71.6%) have at least one identified type specimen (excluding neotypes and iconotypes). Part or all of the type series for another 102 taxa are considered lost. This list represents a 45-year search effort, and although still incomplete, should benefit current and future turtle systematicists, as well as direct ongoing efforts to locate type specimens still missing.

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