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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). Sometimes 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 here considered the valid name for the species, following Frazier (2006).
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