Abstract

[Introduction]. The following catalogue lists, for the first time, the primary and supplementary type specimens of amphibians and reptiles in The Australian Museum. It seems desirable to record, from time to time in a museum's history, the status of type collections on which a great deal of taxonomic research is ultimately based.

The past century has seen many changes in taxonomic and curatorial approaches to type material, and many recent studies have been hampered by the failure of some earlier workers to designate clearly, type specimens and/or their depository. Literature references to type material often fail to correspond with designated specimens or catalogued data in museums, and a museum curator is often faced with problems of correlating published descriptions with specimens or catalogues in his charge.

The Australian Museum, which was founded in 1827, is the oldest natural history museum in Australia. It moved to its present site in 1848 (the first building is now the north-west wing of the present building), but relatively little is known of the early history of its collections. Initially most specimens were acquired solely for display value as 'natural curiosities'; not until the 1860's was the nucleus of a research and reference collection established.

At the time of writing, these collections consist of approximately 75,000 specimens, almost all of which are from Australia and the south-west Pacific region. There are 969 primary and 2 supplementary type specimens (as defined by Mayr et al., 1953, p. 239) in these collections, including the recently acquired type collection of the Macleay Museum in the University of Sydney.

 
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Bibliographic Data

Short Form
Cogger, 1979, Rec. Aust. Mus. 32(4): 163–210
Author
Harold G. Cogger
Year
1979
Title
Type specimens of reptiles and amphibians in the Australian Museum
Serial Title
Records of the Australian Museum
Volume
32
Issue
4
Start Page
163
End Page
210
DOI
10.3853/j.0067-1975.32.1979.455
Language
English
Date Published
30 July 1979
Cover Date
30 July 1979
ISSN
0067-1975
CODEN
RAUMAJ
Publisher
The Australian Museum
Place Published
Sydney, Australia
Subjects
TYPE SPECIMENS; AUSTRALIAN MUSEUM; REPTILIA; AMPHIBIANS
Digitized
19 January 2009
Available Online
03 March 2009
Reference Number
455
EndNote
/Uploads/Journals/17536/455.enw
Title Page
/Uploads/Journals/17536/455.pdf
File size: 125kB
Complete Work
/Uploads/Journals/17536/455_complete.pdf
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