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Re: Xenosaurus grandis and former X. rackhami taxon questio


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Posted by paalexan on February 24, 2003 at 19:16:48:

In Reply to: Re: Xenosaurus grandis and former X. rackhami taxon questio posted by 59herps on February 22, 2003 at 15:28:12:

:Well actually stuart was the first to designate it as a subspecies in 1941, that same year he elevated it to species status.

:1st Xenosaurus grandis rackhami STUART 1941
:then reconcidered it and it became
:2nd Xenosaurus rackhami STUART 1941 (fide VILLA et al. 1988)

Now, the fact that only a single paper is referred to (had multiple papers published by Stuart in 1941 been involved, designators like `STUART 1941a' and STUART 1941b' would have been used) alone tells us that there could not have been a separate subspecies description and elevation to species status involved.

And, as it would happen, these two references mean very different things, as was indicated in reptile-database.org by their inclusion in different fields. The first entry, in the `subspecies' field, means that the taxon now known as Xenosaurus grandis rackhami was originally described in the paper referred to by `STUART 1941' (`A new species of Xenosaurus from Guatemala', see 1). This entry doesn't mean that Stuart called this taxon `Xenosaurus grandis rackhami'--as a matter of fact, this paper is a species description for Xenosaurus rackhami, with no subspecies described, and the name `Xenosaurus grandis rackhami' never used--only that he described it in the paper referred to, and that it is now known as `Xenosaurus grandis rackhami'. The second entry, from the `synonyms' field, indicates that the taxon called `Xenosaurus rackhami' in STUART 1941 is now considered to be a synonym of Xenosaurus grandis.

Patrick Alexander


1- Stuart (1941) Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington 54: 47-48.


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