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Article
Published: 2021-03-08

Back in time to unlock the future: tracing the type-specimens of Corallus hortulana (Linnaeus, 1758) (Serpentes: Boidae), with designation of a lectotype for the Amazon tree boa

Museu de História Natural do Ceará Prof. Dias da Rocha, Centro de Ciências da Saúde, Universidade Estadual do Ceará, Av. Dr. Silas Munguba, 1700, Campus Itaperi, 60741-000, Fortaleza, Ceará, Brasil. Departamento de Vertebrados, Museu Nacional, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Quinta da Boa Vista, São Cristóvão, 20940-040, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.
Centro de Estudos Superiores de Caxias, Universidade Estadual do Maranhão, Programa de Pós-graduação em Biodiversidade, Ambiente e Saúde, Caxias, Maranhão, 65064-380, Brasil. Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences and Gothenburg Global Biodiversity Center, University of Gothenburg, Box 461, SE-405 30, Göteborg, Sweden.
Departamento de Vertebrados, Museu Nacional, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Quinta da Boa Vista, São Cristóvão, 20940-040, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.
Reptilia Corallus enydris Linnean types nomenclatural stability polychromatism taxonomic history

Abstract

Corallus hortulana presents a large array of tones and color pattern variability throughout its distribution (= polychromatism), which trigged the description of several taxa now considered to be primary synonyms. Linnaeus described two of these (Boa enydris and Boa hortulana) on the same page of the 10th Edition of the Systema Naturae. However, both names had been widely used in literature almost in an optional way, until their formal synonymization more than two centuries after the original description. Additionally, the type specimen of Boa hortulana was reported as missing since the late 19th century. These two factors may have enabled the unjustified switched association of types, which was perpetuated in the literature to the present day. Our main goals here were to trace the correct type specimens for each species through a literature review and specimen examination, and to amend the switched association of type material. We found two specimens in the collection of the Uppsala University that are unmistakably associated with Boa hortulana. Herein we designate one of them as its lectotype in order to promote nomenclatural stability considering its huge phenotypic variability and the future possibility of eventually splitting the species.

 

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