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Tracking a syntype of Anomalopus leuckartii (Weinland, 1862)

AutorInnen: 
Mecke, S., Mader, F., Kieckbusch, M., Kaiser, H., Böhme, W., Ernst, R.
Erscheinungsjahr: 
2016
Vollständiger Titel: 
Tracking a syntype of the Australian skink Anomalopus leuckartii (Weinland, 1862): ‘lost’ treasures in the Senckenberg Natural History Collections Dresden highlight the importance of reassessing and safeguarding natural history collections
Autor/-innen des ZFMK: 
Publiziert in: 
Vertebrate Zoology
Publikationstyp: 
Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Keywords: 
Scincidae, Lygosominae, Anomalopus leuckartii, Australia, taxonomy, syntype, lectotype, morphology, natural history collections, museums
Bibliographische Angaben: 
Mecke, S., Mader, F., Kieckbusch, M., Kaiser, H., Böhme, W., Ernst, R. (2016): Tracking a syntype of the Australian skink Anomalopus leuckartii (Weinland, 1862): ‘lost’ treasures in the Senckenberg Natural History Collections Dresden highlight the importance of reassessing and safeguarding natural history collections. – Vertebrate Zoology 66(2): 169-177.
Abstract: 

We here report the rediscovery of a type specimen of the Australian skink Anomalopus leuckartii (Weinland, 1862) in the Museum of Zoology (Museum für Tierkunde), Senckenberg Natural History Collections Dresden (accession number MTKD 10205), heretofore presumed lost during World War II. Eidonomic data for the specimen conform to the original species description, and combined with the specimen’s history, we are able to unequivocally identify it as part of the original syntype series. Weinland’s description was based on two specimens, one of which does indeed appear to be lost. Consequently, MTKD 10205 is designated as lectotype of A. leuckartii. This find invalidates the subsequent designation of AM R 44677 (Australian Museum, Sydney) as neotype for the species. The rediscovery highlights the importance of maintaining natural history collections, not merely as static archives but rather as dynamic and lively databases. This in combination with optimal taxonomic expertise as bedrock guarantees an environment, in which new discoveries are not impeded but actively promoted, thereby inevitably advancing modern biodiversity research.

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