Gecko Tytleri Tytler, 1865

Mahony, Stephen, 2011, Taxonomic revision of Hemidactylus brookii Gray: a re-examination of the type series and some Asian synonyms, and a discussion of the obscure species Hemidactylus subtriedrus Jerdon (Reptilia:, Zootaxa 3042, pp. 37-67: 44

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Gecko Tytleri Tytler, 1865


Gecko Tytleri Tytler, 1865 

The name Gecko Tytleri  was coined based on living animals in the private collection of the original author, collected from “dark cellars at Moulmein [= Mawlamyaing, Mon State, Myanmar] where the species is common”. The author stated that he had no means of comparing his animals with those already described by other taxonomists, but intended to provide each species a new name regardless of this fact. Unusually despite clearly indicating one of his species was conspecific with Phelsuma andamanense Blyth, Tytler  still unjustifiably created the nomen Gecko chameleon  indicating a lack of knowledge or respect for the basic fundamentals of nomenclatural classification followed by others of that period. Indeed all nine “new” species described in this paper are currently considered synonyms. Furthermore, he disregarded the generic classifications followed by others, which he was clearly aware of, and simply placed all “new” species of geckos in his collection in the genus Gecko  .

The species Gecko tytleri  was very briefly described and included only characters distinguishing it from other geckos in his collection. Due to the lack of diagnostic characters in the original description, several problems are associated with the designation of a topotype as a neotype nearly 150 years later. Because the specimen was collected in the cellars of buildings, thus associated with an anthropogenically modified habitat, the species to which the nomen Gecko tytleri  was originally intended may not be a native species, but a representative of an introduced population from literally any part of the H. brookii  s.l. range. Furthermore this population/species may or may not still be extant at this locality. It may even have been displaced by another more competitive introduced species of the H. brookii  species group. I have not been able to locate any specimens deposited by Tytler from the type locality of this species in the collections of ZSI or BMNH, therefore it is safe to assume that type material does not exist for this nomen. Tytler’s name remains available, however, since this species has not been considered valid by any authors after 1899, a future neotype designation would not threaten the status of H. tenkatei  (the only H. brookii  group taxa observed in this study from Myanmar) as it would fail to comply with Article 23.9. 2 of the Code.