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Article
Published: 2022-05-10

A nomenclatural and taxonomic review of the salamanders (Urodela) from Holbrook’s North American Herpetology

Department of Biological Sciences, The George Washington University, 2023 G St. NW, Washington, DC 20052
Department of Natural Sciences, Nash Community College, Rocky Mount, NC 27804
Amphibia Holbrook North American Herpetology salamanders Urodela type specimen

Abstract

John Edwards Holbrook published North American Herpetology in 11 volumes from 1836–1842, authoring the first accounts of numerous amphibians and reptiles from the eastern and central United States, including 32 salamanders (Urodela). We reviewed these and located 51 extant salamander specimens from Holbrook in the Academy of Natural Sciences (Philadelphia), Museum of Comparative Zoology (Cambridge), and Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle (Paris), six of which are types. We identified four other specimens figured by Holbrook in the MNHN and National Museum of Natural History (Washington), all of which are types from descriptions by other authors. We designate lectotypes for S. porpyhritica Green, 1827 (USNM 3840; reversing neotype MCZ A-35778), Salamandra gutto-lineata Holbrook, 1838a (ANSP 716), S. auriculata Holbrook, 1838b (MNHN-RA 0.4675), S. maculo-quadrata Holbrook, 1840 (ANSP 821), S. granulata De Kay in Holbrook, 1842e (USNM 3981), S. quadridigitata Holbrook, 1842e (ANSP 490; reversing neotype UF 178833), and Plethodon variolosum Duméril, Bibron, and Duméril, 1854 (MNHN-RA 0.4666). Allocation of S. auriculata Holbrook, 1838b, S. “Haldemani” Holbrook, 1840, and P. variolosum Duméril, Bibron, and Duméril, 1854 is still ambiguous. We consider S. maculo-quadrata Holbrook, 1840 to be a junior subjective synonym of S. fusca Green, 1818; no valid name has ever been applied to Black-bellied Salamanders (Desmognathus sp. “quadramaculatus”) at the species level, and up to five candidate species require new names. Additional discoveries of data and specimens pertaining to Holbrook’s names may remain to be made among his surviving papers and collections.

 

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