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© Rune Midtgaard


Taxonomy of the family Testudinidae
Bibliography of the genus Aldabrachelys
Biodiversity of the family Testudinidae








Genus
Aldabrachelys

Aldabra Tortoise

Seychellen-Riesenschildkröte, Aldabra-Riesenschildkröte

Aldabra-kćmpeskildpadde

1843 Megalochelys Fitzinger [not Megalochelys Falconer & Cautley 1837 (Testudinidae)] (type species: Testudo gigantea Schweigger 1812; syn. Fritz & Havas 2006)
1957 Aldabrachelys Loveridge & Williams (type species: Testudo gigantea Schweigger 1812)
1982 Dipsochelys Bour (type species: Testudo elephantina Dumeril & Bibron 1835; syn. Fritz & Havas 2006)

Contents: 1 species, which is endemic.
Endemism: 0% 100%
Remarks: Previously included in Testudo (e.g., Wermuth & Mertens 1977) and, more recently, in Geochelone (e.g., Valverde 2004; Zug 2009). Frazier (2006) reviewed the confusing history of the usage of the generic names Aldabrachelys and Dipsochelys.
Distribution: As for the single species.

Aldabrachelys gigantea

Aldabra Tortoise, Aldabra Giant Tortoise

Seychellen-Riesenschildkröte, Aldabra-Riesenschildkröte

Aldabra-kćmpeskildpadde

1812 Testudo gigantea Schweigger
Geochelone gigantea Fitzinger 1835
Aldabrachelys gigantea Percy 1970
Megalochelys gigantea Obst 1978
Dipsochelys gigantea Bour 1984
1831 Testudo dussumieri Gray (ICZN 2013: Opinion 2316)
Dipsochelys dussumieri Gerlach & Canning 1996
Geochelone dussumieri Farkas & Sasvári 1999
Aldabrachelys dussumieri Austin, Arnold & Bour 2003
1835 Testudo daudinii Duméril & Bibron (Fritz & Havas 2006)
Testudo gigantea daudini [lapsus] Rothschild 1906
Geochelone gigantea daudinii Pritchard 1967
Dipsochelys daudinii Bour 1982
Geochelone daudinii Farkas & Sasvári 1999
Aldabrachelys daudinii Austin, Arnold & Bour 2003
1835 Testudo elephantina Duméril & Bibron (Fritz & Havas 2006)
Testudo gigantea elephantina Rothschild 1897
Geochelone elephantina Pritchard 1967
Dipsochelys elephantina Bour 1982
Aldabrachelys elephantina Iverson 1986
1877 Testudo hololissa Günther (Fritz & Havas 2006)
Dipsochelys hololissa Bour 1982
Geochelone hololissa Farkas & Sasvári 1999
Aldabrachelys hololissa Austin, Arnold & Bour 2003
1877 Testudo ponderosa Günther (Fritz & Havas 2006)
Aldabrachelys ponderosa Austin, Arnold & Bour 2003
1892 Testudo sumeirei Sauzier (Fritz & Havas 2006)
Testudo gigantea soumeirei [lapsus] Rothschild 1906
Geochelone sumeiri [lapsus] Loveridge & Williams 1957
Dipsochelys sumeirei Bour 1984
Megalochelys sumeirei Obst 1985
Aldabrachelys sumierei [lapsus] Austin, Arnold & Bour 2003
Dipsochelys dussumieri sumeirei Gerlach 2004
1906 Testudo gouffei Rothschild (Fritz & Havas 2006)
Geochelone gouffei Pritchard 1967
Geochelone gigantea gouffei Auffenberg 1974
Megalochelys gouffei Obst 1985
Aldabrachelys gouffei Austin, Arnold & Bour 2003
1982 Dipsochelys arnoldi Bour (Fritz & Havas 2006)
Aldabrachelys arnoldi Austin, Arnold & Bour 2003

Remarks: Taxonomy of this species has been controversial (Pritchard 1986). Previously referred to as Aldabrachelys elephantina (e.g., Broadley & Howell 1991, King & Burke 1989), Dipsochelys gigantea (e.g., Bour 1984), Dipsochelys dussumieri (e.g., Gerlach & Canning 1998a; Spawls, Howell, Drewes & Ashe 2002), or Megalochelys gigantea (e.g., Obst 1985). Aldabrachelys gigantea is now the valid name for the species (International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature 2013: Opinion 2316).
The native distributions of arnoldi and hololissa, sometimes regarded as separate species (e.g., Gerlach & Canning 1998b), are unknown and currently only known from captive or introduced groups or individuals in the granitic central island group (Gerlach 2009a, 2011a). There is evidence that all non-Madagascan taxa within Aldabrachelys (living or extinct) represent a single species (Austin, Arnold & Bour 2003; Palkovacs, Marschner Ciofi, Gerlach & Caccone 2003).
The subspecies daudinii (origin uncertain, possibly Mahé) became extinct around 1850 (Dijk, Iverson, Shaffer, Bour & Rhodin 2012).
Introduced to: Mauritius (Rodrigues, Round Island), Reunion, Seychelles (Praslin), Tanzania (Zanzibar).
Distribution: Seychelles (Aldabra).


Aldabrachelys gigantea
© Henrik Bringsøe