Friday, April 12, 2024

Bibliotheca Herpetologica 18(3)

Rösler, H., P. Daszkiewicz, I. Ineich & W. Böhme 2024. Lacertulus minimus variegatus Plumier – a pre-Linnean description of a remarkable gecko (Gekkota: Sphaerodactylidae: Sphaerodactylus) from Haiti (Greater Antilles). Bibliotheca Herpetologica 18(3):36–43. Published April 12, 2024.

Charles Plumier, a priest of the Minims religious order, was a pioneer of botany in the West Indies at the end of the 17th century. He authored numerous zoological drawings and detailed descriptions, such as those on fish or crocodile anatomy. Many authors have subsequently used his manuscripts for their own publications and descriptions of new taxa. Among his botanical plates is a watercolor insert of a small lizard which he described and named Lacertulus minimus variegatus in a separate manuscript. Although coined prior to the adoption of the Linnean nomenclature, this nomen was used by subsequent authors and we determine its identification here. We conclude that this watercolor and the description later attached to it correspond to the endemic Haitian taxon Sphaerodactylus elegans punctatissimus. This means that the watercolor of Lacertulus minimus variegatus is probably the first pictorial representation of a species of this speciose genus.

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