Abstract

Recently, 2 studies almost simultaneously described the same previously unrecognized species of semiaquatic Southeast Asian snail-eating turtle (Testudines: Geoemydidae: Malayemys Lindholm 1931): Malayemys khoratensis Ihlow et al. 2016 and M. isan Sumontha et al. 2016. In order to determine the valid name for the species in question, we performed a comprehensive bibliographical analysis of both underlying publications. We come to the conclusion that M. khoratensis is the older available name that fulfills all requirements of being published for the purpose of nomenclature. The name was made available in full agreement with the requirements of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature in an electronic publication of the journal PLoS ONE on 6 April 2016. The earliest date a printed copy of Volume 8(1) of the journal Taprobanica (which contains the description of M. isan and constitutes the nomenclaturally relevant edition of this publication outlet) can be shown to have been in existence, via actual printing records, is 13 April 2016. However, 13 April, in fact, dates after we placed a request to purchase a printed copy and after we asked several questions about the journal's publication procedures. By definition, our finding unveils Taprobanica 8(1) as being published under a print-on-demand model, a violation of Article 8.1 in that such print-on-demand publications do not constitute a published work under the Code. In agreement with Article 9.12, Volume 8(1) of Taprobanica cannot be considered published for the purpose of nomenclature and thus, following Article 11.1, M. isan cannot be considered an available name in zoological nomenclature. The valid name for the recently described species of Malayemys consequently is M. khoratensis: the Khorat snail-eating turtle.

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