ORIGIN OF THE NAME Geochelone elegans: HISTORICAL ASPECTSAuthors: Anslem de Silva,A. M. Bauer
In the first volume of his famous “Thesaurus” (1734), Albertus Seba (1665–1736) the Dutch pharmacist and collector of natural history specimens, illustrated in figure 3, plate 79, a hatchling Geochelone elegans described on page 126 as being from Ceylon and given the name Testudo terrestris Ceilonica elegans minor. It would be more than 60 years, however, before the star tortoise would be officially named scientifically. Linnaeus (1758) lumped the star tortoise in with a superficially similar South African species (Testudo geometrica) and only in 1795 did Johann David Schoepff (1752–1800) formally name Testudo elegans. In the late 20th century a lectotype specimen was finally named for Linnaeus’s T. geometrica. This permanently stabilized the use of the names Psammobates geometricus and Geochelone elegans for the African geometric tortoise and the star tortoise, respectively.
Keywords: Star tortoise, Geochelone elegans, Linnaeus, Schoepff, Seba, herpetological history, Sri Lanka
How to Cite: Anslem de Silva,, Bauer,A. M, (2016). ORIGIN OF THE NAME Geochelone elegans: HISTORICAL ASPECTS.WILDLANKA, 4(1):Pages 022-028
Department of Wildlife Conservation,
No: 811/A, Jayanthipura,