We present a detailed description of the type specimens of amphibians (frogs and salamanders) held in the scientific research collections of the Museo Civico di Storia Naturale in Milan, Italy. These collections are historically important because of their rich sampling from the early 20th Century of present-day Libya, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Eritrea, countries for which scientific collections are generally uncommon. Further, in the mid-19th Century the scientist Giorgio Jan amassed in Milan a diverse collection of amphibian and reptile specimens from institutions across Europe and the United States. There is a long history in the scientific literature stating that these specimens, brought together by Jan, were lost or destroyed due to the Allied bombing of Milan in 1943. We report the results of a thorough survey of the amphibian collection, revealing many type specimens previously thought lost, as well as several specimens from Jan's mid-19th Century collection believed to have been destroyed. Among the latter are specimens corresponding to three nomina nuda created by Jan in an 1857 catalog. We provide details for all type specimens as well as a short synopsis of the history and taxonomic status of each. The scientific collections of amphibians in Milan contain type specimens of one salamander, Hydromantes italicus bonzanoi, and 17 frog species of which three are not currently considered synonyms of older names: Arthroleptis elegans, ArthroleptisPhrynobatrachus sciangallarum, Arthroleptis–Phrynobatrachus zavattarii, Bufo gardoensis, Bufo incertus, Bufo sibilai, Fichteria somalica, Hyperolius zavattarii, Kassina somalica, Megalixalus parkeri, Rana (Pyxicephalus) cimmarutai, Rana cornii, Rana fichteri, Rana oxyrhynchus migiurtina, Rana somalica, Rana zavattarii, and Rappia rossii.

Italian scientific research collections of amphibians and reptiles date to the late 18th Century and have particular strengths in Europe, Africa, and South America (Barbagli, 2010; Mazzotti and Miserocchi, 2010). From the mid-19th to early 20th Century, the Museo Civico di Storia Naturale in Milan (MSNM) contained one of the world's foremost herpetological collections, including that brought together by Giorgio Jan (1791–1866) for his synoptic research on snakes (Conci, 1967; Barbagli, 2010; Scali, 2010). Among Italian collections, the MSNM also stands out for its collections of amphibians and reptiles from continental Africa during the early 20th century (Mazzotti and Miserocchi, 2010). The MSNM is particularly important due to its strengths in collections from present-day Libya, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Eritrea, dating largely to Italian occupation of these regions in the 1920s and 1930s, and mostly collected or brought together at MSNM by Giuseppe Scortecci (1898–1973; Visconti, 1988; Scali, 2010). These collections have played an important role in the study of amphibians and reptiles from these African regions (e.g., Scortecci, 1933, 1936; Lanza, 1981; Largen, 2001b; Largen and Spawls, 2006, 2010). The MSNM collections are also of note because much of the collections were lost when Allied forces bombed the museum in 1943 (Parisi, 1944). Since that time, components of the MSNM herpetological collections, especially type specimens, have been frequently cited as having been either lost or destroyed (Conci, 1967; Frost, 1985; Visconti, 1988; Largen, 2001b; Barbagli, 2010; Scali, 2010).

Here we build on previous work on the MSNM herpetological collections by Leonardi et al. (1995) and Scali (1996, 2010) by providing detailed information on all amphibian type specimens presently in the collections, including for specimens not previously discussed. In addition, we discuss amphibian specimens from the mid-19th Century collection assembled by Giorgio Jan that were discovered during our survey. The latter specimens correspond to taxa cited in Jan's (1857) catalog of the MSNM amphibian and reptile collections, including several recognized as nomina nuda (Frost, 2013).

During 2011 and 2012, we conducted a thorough survey of the amphibian collections of the Museo Civico di Storia Naturale (MSNM) in Milan, Italy. We focused particularly on locating type specimens at MSNM. While type specimens have been stored separately, our survey revealed many “lost” type specimens in the collection. We identified specimens of interest by matching information in the original taxonomic descriptions to a combination of catalog numbers, locality, associated collection data, or any combination, preserved in or on specimen jars. In the 1980s a uniform numbering system was implemented across the vertebrate collections of MSNM, but the previous catalog numbers cited in some studies are retained on the labels. All of the amphibian specimens now have a catalog number preceded by “MSNM Am.” For the historical collections cited in Jan's (1857) catalog, we also relied on an unpublished, handwritten catalog (dated as 1853) preserved in the MSNM historical archives. This catalog seems to have served as the template for Jan's Cenni sul Museo Civico di Milano ed Indice sistematico dei rettili ed anfibi esposti nel medesimo published in 1857 because the taxonomy and ordering of taxa are highly similar to the published catalog (Fig. 1). While catalog numbers do not appear in the Jan (1857) catalog, information on labels on, or in, several jars found during our survey matches both the handwritten and printed catalogs and leaves little doubt as to the correspondence. In addition a second, undated handwritten catalog provides a reorganization of the information in the 1853 catalog (sometimes with additional information) as well as information on the year of accessioning of material deposited in the MSNM during the mid–late 19th and early 20th centuries (ca. 1866–1915; Fig. 1). In the 1853 catalog, the numbers following species names appear to be early catalog numbers and correspond to numbers on jars of species with the same name in the MSNM amphibian collection remaining from the 19th Century. Comparison between the two catalogs reveals that some information added to the catalog, dated as 1853, must have been added later; some taxa and catalog numbers are recorded as having been accessioned in the late 19th Century in the second, undated catalog. Interestingly, the taxa that appear likely to have been added include many of the nomina nuda from Jan (1857). Taken together, the two catalogs prove a useful resource for triangulating information on the 19th Century MSNM herpetology collections, most of which are now lost.

Fig. 1.

Examples from the unpublished and published catalogs of the amphibian collection of the Museo Civico di Storia Naturale in Milan. From left to right: 1853 unpublished catalog in the museum's archives; first page of the amphibian section of Jan's (1857) catalog; undated late-19th Century unpublished catalog in the museum's archives that often contains additional details to the 1853 catalog as well as accessions from the late-19th Century.

Fig. 1.

Examples from the unpublished and published catalogs of the amphibian collection of the Museo Civico di Storia Naturale in Milan. From left to right: 1853 unpublished catalog in the museum's archives; first page of the amphibian section of Jan's (1857) catalog; undated late-19th Century unpublished catalog in the museum's archives that often contains additional details to the 1853 catalog as well as accessions from the late-19th Century.

For each species we provide the taxon and authority, details on specimens given in the original scientific description, current collection catalog information, and also remarks on the taxonomic history and other pertinent information; accounts are organized by current taxonomy (family-level taxonomy following Blackburn and Wake, 2011). To facilitate comparisons to the literature, we also provide the snout–vent length (SVL) of specimens (measured using digital calipers to the nearest 0.1 mm). When available in the present-day collections, we also provide details on previous MSNM numbers for these type specimens. We provide updated locality names and geospatial coordinates based on the GEOnet Names Server of the United States National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (http://earth-info.nga.mil/gns/html/index.html).

Amphibian Taxa With Type Material In Museo Civico Di Storia Naturale Di Milano

Current taxonomy

Poyntonophrynus lughensis (Loveridge, 1932).

Original publication information

“2 ♂ (A, B) 4 ♀ (C, D, E, F) Gardo Migiurtinia [Qardho, Puntland State of Somalia; 9.505062 49.084944] 9–20. Agosto 1931” (Scortecci, 1932b); SVL of “Tipo ♂ A” given as 31 mm by Scortecci (1932b) and SVLs of females ranging from 28–42 mm; specimen number given as “N. 666” by Scortecci (1933).

Current catalog information

One holotype and five paratypes (see Remarks): MSNM Am 343 (female, SVL  =  33.9 mm), 345 (?female, SVL  =  32.8 mm), 346 (female, SVL  =  42.4 mm), 347 (sex unknown, SVL  =  30.8 mm), 348 (sex unknown, SVL  =  34.5 mm), and 349 (?male, SVL  =  27.1 mm).

Remarks

Scortecci (1932b) described Bufo gardoensis (Fig. 2A,D) based on six specimens (all of which remain) from Gardo Migiurtinia and considered this species to be similar to B. taitanus (now Mertensophryne taitana; Peters 1878). Both Tandy and Keith (1972) and Balletto et al. (1978) considered B. gardoensis a junior synonym of Bufo (now Poyntonophrynus) lughensis, which was followed by Lanza (1981), Frost (1985), and presumably by Lanza (1990); yet Tandy and Keith (1972) expressed uncertainty about this assignment by using “?”. Bufo gardoensis was further discussed by both Cherchi (1958) and Scortecci (1933), the latter providing additional information on the types. Scali (2010) lists a syntype, but Scortecci (1932b) did treat an individual specimen from Gardo as “Tipo ♂ A”, and the SVL for this specimen is given as 31 mm; the SVL of other specimens ranged from 28 to 42 mm SVL. We treat these six specimens as a holotype and five paratypes, though it is unclear which specimen represents Scortecci's type specimen (possibly MSNM Am 347, measured here at 30.8 mm SVL).

Fig. 2.

Bufo gardoensis Scortecci, 1932 (A,D; MSNM AM 347, syntype), Bufo incertus Scortecci, 1933 (B,E; MSNM Am 604, holotype), Bufo sibilai Scortecci, 1929 (C,F; MSNM Am 273, syntype). Scale bars  =  10 mm.

Fig. 2.

Bufo gardoensis Scortecci, 1932 (A,D; MSNM AM 347, syntype), Bufo incertus Scortecci, 1933 (B,E; MSNM Am 604, holotype), Bufo sibilai Scortecci, 1929 (C,F; MSNM Am 273, syntype). Scale bars  =  10 mm.

Current taxonomy

Amietophrynus steindachneri (Pfeffer, 1893).

Original publication information

“N. 670 – 1 juv. – Villaggio Duca degli Abruzzi [Jowhar, Somalia; 2.780868 45.500484]. Aprile 1929”; SVL given as 26 mm (Scortecci, 1933).

Current catalog information

Holotype: MSNM Am 604 (ex. 670, ?female, SVL  =  25.6 mm).

Remarks

Scortecci (1933) described Bufo incertus (Fig. 2B,E) for a single juvenile specimen. However, he explicitly expressed his uncertainty about recognizing this as a new taxon because it was based on a single juvenile specimen. Bufo incertus was considered a junior synonym of Bufo (now Amietophrynus) steindachneri by both Tandy and Keith (1972) and Lanza (1981; and presumably Lanza, 1990).

Current taxonomy

Amietophrynus blanfordii (Boulenger, 1882).

Original publication information

“(No. 589) 1 ♂, 1 juv. Regione Fil-Fil, presso Ghinda [Ghinda, Eritrea; 15.449167 39.088611] – Dr. E. Sibilia l. d.” (Scortecci, 1929); SVL of male given as 40 mm and of juvenile as 23 mm by Scortecci (1929).

Current catalog information

Two syntypes: MSNM Am 272 (ex. 589; juvenile, SVL  =  20.3 mm), 273 (ex. 589; ?male, SVL  =  36.6 mm).

Remarks

Scortecci (1929) described Bufo sibiliai (Fig. 2C,F) based on two specimens from near Ghinda in the Fil-Fil region. Tandy and Keith (1972) considered this a junior synonym of Bufo (now Amietophrynus) blanfordii without comment (see also Tandy and Feener, 1985). Followed by Largen (1997, 2001b) and Lanza (1990); no type specimens were noted by Largen (1997, 2001b). Contra Scali (2010), the authority is Scortecci (1929), not Scortecci (1933).

Current taxonomy

Hyperolius balfouri (Werner, 1908).

Original publication information

“Pozzi di Gondaraba [Gondaraba, Ethiopia; 4.966667 36.816667]. 31 maggio 1939. 1 ♀” (Scortecci, 1943); specimen number not specified.

Current catalog information

Holotype: MSNM Am 284 (juvenile, SVL  =  17.3 mm).

Remarks

Scortecci (1943) described Hyperolius zavattarii (Fig. 3A,C) based on what he characterized as an adult female specimen from the wells of Gondaraba. Largen (1998; see also Largen, 2001b) recognized this specimen as immature and considered this taxon to be a junior synonym of Hyperolius balfouri. Scortecci (1943) noted that additional specimens (though not type specimens) from Lake Margherita were housed in the mission of the Istituto di Idrobiologia di Roma. The herpetological collections of the Laboratorio Centrale di Idrobiologia were transferred to the Museo Civico di Zoologia di Roma in 2009, but these specimens mentioned by Scortecci (1943) are not detailed in a recent study of the amphibians in that collection (Capula et al., 2011). Scali (2010) did not list this taxon among the MSNM amphibian types.

Fig. 3.

Hyperolius zavattarii Scortecci, 1943 (A,C; MSNM Am 284, holotype), Rappia Rossii Calabresi, 1925 (B,D; MSNM Am 472, syntype). Scale bars  =  5 mm.

Fig. 3.

Hyperolius zavattarii Scortecci, 1943 (A,C; MSNM Am 284, holotype), Rappia Rossii Calabresi, 1925 (B,D; MSNM Am 472, syntype). Scale bars  =  5 mm.

Current taxonomy

Kassina somalica Scortecci, 1932b.

Original publication information

“1 ♂. Villaggio Duca degli Abruzzi [Jowhar, Somalia; 2.780868 45.500484]. Ottobre 1930” (Scortecci, 1932b); SVL given as 30 mm by Scortecci (1932b), and specimen number given as “N. 672” by Scortecci (1933).

Current catalog information

Holotype: MSNM Am 8 (ex. 672; male, SVL  =  29.0 mm).

Remarks

Scortecci (1932b) described Kassina somalica (Fig. 4A,C) based on a single male specimen. Scortecci (1932b) stated that this taxon was similar to “K. senegalensis, deserticola e maculata.Gans et al. (1965) treated this as a subspecies of K. senegalensis. Subsequently, Schiøtz (1975) recognized this taxon as a junior synonym of Kassina senegalensis and corresponding to his “Form 2” of K. senegalensis; Drewes and Roth (1981) followed this by recognizing it as a subspecies of K. senegalensis. Lanza (1981) treated K. somalica as valid and removed it from synonymy with K. senegalensis; both Lanza (1990) and Largen (2001b) followed this decision. However, Largen (2001b) also pointed out that the distinction of K. somalica from K. senegalensis is still a point requiring further research. Doria et al. (2001–2002) cite additional specimens, including ones from the oasis of Galgalò collected by Scortecci during a later trip to Somalia in 1953.

Fig. 4.

Kassina somalica Scortecci, 1932b (A,C; MSNM AM 8, holotype), Megalixalus parkeri Scortecci, 1932b (B,D; MSNM Am 6, lectotype). Scale bars  =  10 mm.

Fig. 4.

Kassina somalica Scortecci, 1932b (A,C; MSNM AM 8, holotype), Megalixalus parkeri Scortecci, 1932b (B,D; MSNM Am 6, lectotype). Scale bars  =  10 mm.

Current taxonomy

Kassina maculifer (Ahl, 1924).

Original publication information

“1 ♂. 1 ♀. Garoe Somalia [Garowe, Puntland State of Somalia; 8.405364 48.484465]. 29 Giugno 1931” (Scortecci, 1932b); specimen number for both specimens given as “N. 673” by Scortecci (1933); Frost (1985) lists the type specimen as MSNM [MSNM] 673.6.

Current catalog information

MSNM Am 6 (ex. 673; lectotype; male, SVL  =  33.4 mm), 7 (ex. 673; paralectotype; female, SVL  =  30.6 mm).

Remarks

Megalixalus parkeri (Fig. 4B,D) has a long history of being considered either as a valid taxon or as a synonym of Kassina maculifer. Indeed, even in the description of this taxon, Scortecci (1932b) commented that it was similar to “M. maculifer Ahl.” Balletto et al. (1978) designated the lectotype and paralectotype and discussed the distinction between this taxon and K. somalica. Many later authors have treated K. parkeri as valid (Lanza, 1981, 1990; Drewes, 1984, 1985; Tandy and Drewes, 1985). Schiøtz (1999) treated K. parkeri as a junior synonym of K. maculifer, citing “Largen (in litt.)” (see also Largen, 2001b). Doria et al. (2001–2002) cite additional specimens from Wadi Dhuudo collected by Scortecci during a later trip to Somalia in 1957.

Current taxonomy

Hyperolius viridiflavus (Duméril and Bibron, 1841).

Original publication information

“Venne radunato dal Dott. Aurelio Rossi…nell'agosto del 1924…l ♂ e 1 ♀ (No. 584)” “Regione dell'Alto Uellè (Congo Belga)” [Region of the Upper Uele River, Orientale Province, Democratic Republic of Congo; unspecified locality], SVL  =  30 mm (though it is unclear to which specimen this measurement refers; Calabresi, 1925).

Current catalog information

Two syntypes: MSNM Am 471 (ex. 584; male, SVL  =  25.7 mm; figured in Calabresi, 1925), 472 (ex. 584; female, SVL  =  29.5 mm).

Remarks

Calabresi (1925) described Rappia rossii (Fig. 3B,D) based on two specimens collected from the Upper Uele River at an unspecified locality. However, based on maps provided in Rossi's (1931) travelogue, it seems likely that these specimens were collected from an area near or just east of present-day Watsa (3.037162 S, 29.535509 E). Loveridge (1936b) attributed specimens from western Kenya to Hyperolius rossii. Laurent (1943) considered this taxon to be a junior synonym of Hyperolius burgeoni DeWitte 1921, which he later (Laurent, 1951, 1952) considered a junior synonym of Hyperolius viridiflavus pachydermus (Werner, 1908). Both syntypes are still present in the MSNM.

Current taxonomy

Phrynomantis somalicus (Scortecci, 1941).

Original publication information

“Dintorni del Villaggio Duca degli Abruzzi (Somalia) [Jowhar, Somalia; 2.780868 45.500484], U. Fiechter l. 1930 – 1 ♀[.] Basso Giuba [Lower Juba, Somalia; unspecified locality], Marchese S. Patrizi l. Settembre 1923 1 es.” (Scortecci, 1941); specimen numbers not provided.

Current catalog information

One syntype: MSNM Am 1326 (female; SVL  =  41.0 mm).

Remarks

Scortecci (1941) described Fichteria somalica (Fig. 5A,D) based on two specimens, one of which he identified as being in a poor-enough state of preservation to make identification difficult. Only one of these appears to remain in MSNM. Gans et al. (1965) considered this taxon morphologically similar to Phrynomantis bifasciatus but that its unique color pattern warranted recognition as a distinct subspecies (P. bifasciatus somalicus). Without comment, Lanza (1990) recognized Phrynomantis somalicus as distinct from P. bifasciatus. Based on a single specimen (BM 1976.684), Largen (2001b) identified this species as also present in southern Ethiopia. Only one syntype was found in the MSNM collection.

Fig. 5.

Fichteria somalica Scortecci, 1941 (A,D; MSNM Am 1326, syntype), ArthroleptisPhrynobatrachus sciangallarum Scortecci, 1943 (B,E; MSNM Am 229, holotype), Arthroleptis–Phrynobatrachus zavattarii Scortecci, 1943 (C,F; MSNM Am 1329, syntype). Scale bars  =  5 mm.

Fig. 5.

Fichteria somalica Scortecci, 1941 (A,D; MSNM Am 1326, syntype), ArthroleptisPhrynobatrachus sciangallarum Scortecci, 1943 (B,E; MSNM Am 229, holotype), Arthroleptis–Phrynobatrachus zavattarii Scortecci, 1943 (C,F; MSNM Am 1329, syntype). Scale bars  =  5 mm.

Current taxonomy

Phrynobatrachus natalensis (Smith, 1849).

Original publication information

“Murlè [Murle, Ethiopia; 5.15 36.216667]. 19 luglio 1939. 1 ♂”, SVL given as 22 mm (Scortecci, 1943); specimen number not provided.

Current catalog information

Holotype: MSNM Am 229 (?male, SVL 20.7 mm).

Remarks

Following lengthy discussion of the state of confusion regarding morphology of Arthroleptis and Phrynobatrachus, Scortecci (1943) opted to use “Arthroleptis–Phrynobatrachus” for three species, including two new species. Largen (2001a) discusses reasons for considering Arthroleptis–Phrynobatrachus sciangallarum (Fig. 5B,E) to be a junior synonym of Phrynobatrachus natalensis. This taxon was not listed among the MSNM amphibian types by Scali (2010).

Current taxonomy

Phrynobatrachus natalensis (Smith, 1849).

Original publication information

“Caschei [locality unclear; Largen (2001a) locates this “on the Turmi River” and thus in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region of Ethiopia]. 30 giugno: 8 e 18 luglio 1949. 4 es.”, SVL given as 19.5, 19, 18, and 16.5 mm (Scortecci, 1943); neither sex nor specimen numbers provided.

Current catalog information

Four syntypes (sex unknown): MSNM Am 606A (SVL  =  17.5 mm), 606B (SVL  =  18.1 mm), 1329 (SVL  =  18.9 mm), and 1446 (SVL  =  15.9 mm).

Remarks

Largen (2001a) discusses reasons for considering Arthroleptis–Phrynobatrachus zavattarii (Fig. 5D,F) to be a junior synonym of Phrynobatrachus natalensis. Scali (2010) lists a paratype as present, but in fact the MSNM retains all four specimens and, to our knowledge, no specimens have been designated as a lectotype or paralectotypes. For discussion of Scortecci's (1943) use of a hyphenated generic name, see above.

Current taxonomy

Ptychadena tellinii (Peracca, 1904).

Original publication information

“(No. 593) 2 es. (A, B). Adamó [possibly Adamo, Gasha-Barka Region, Eritrea; 14.436766 37.206896] – Missione Corni, Calciati, Bracciani l. d. [.] (No. 594) 2 es. Pozzi di Giarabà [possibly Giaraba, Gasha-Barka Region, Eritrea; 14.494281 37.421018] – Missione Corni, Calciati, Bracciani l. d.” (Scortecci, 1929).

Current catalog information

Two syntypes: MSNM Am 141 (sex unknown, SVL  =  41.2 mm), 685 (ex. 594; juvenile, SVL  =  28.1 mm).

Remarks

Scortecci's (1929) description of Rana cornii was based largely on “Esemplare A,” corresponding to MSNM Am 141 (Fig. 6A,C). Though the type series consisted of four specimens, descriptive information was only provided for the two specimens from Adamó. At present, three specimens remain; these include one tadpole that is not mentioned in the species description (and thus we do not consider it a type). Largen (1997) placed Rana cornii in the synonymy of Ptychadena schubotzi (Sternfeld, 1917), a taxon that Largen (2001b) later placed in the synonymy of Ptychadena tellinii (Peracca, 1904). Largen (1997) reported that one syntype specimen from Giarabà (example C from Scortecci, 1929) is located in the Natural History Museum of London (BM 1930.2.1.1). Citing a personal communication from J.-L. Perret, Frost (1985) stated that the type specimens of Rana cornii were “lost in World War II.” Our survey reveals that at least three of the four syntypes still exist (two in MSNM and one in BM).

Fig. 6.

Rana cornii Scortecci, 1929 (A,C; MSNM Am 141, syntype), Rana oxyrhynchus migiurtina Scortecci, 1933 (B,D; MSNM Am 620, syntype). Scale bars  =  10 mm.

Fig. 6.

Rana cornii Scortecci, 1929 (A,C; MSNM Am 141, syntype), Rana oxyrhynchus migiurtina Scortecci, 1933 (B,D; MSNM Am 620, syntype). Scale bars  =  10 mm.

Current taxonomy

Ptychadena anchietae (Bocage, 1868).

Original publication information

“N. 638 – 2 ♀, 7 juv. – Uadi Arro (Ahl Mascat – Migiurtinia) [possibly Uadi Araro, Puntland State of Somalia; 11.312204 50.852275] 2–4 Settembre 1931. N. 639 – 5 ♂, 2 ♀ – Uadi Badulle (Ahl Mascat – Migiurtinia) [possibly Uadi Badle, Puntland State of Somalia; 11.117174 50.345486] 5 Settembre 1931” (Scortecci, 1933); note: no type specimens were specified (see below for discussion).

Current collection information

Fifteen syntypes: MSNM Am 614 (ex. 639; five males, SVL  =  31.6 mm, 33.2 mm, 34.5 mm, 34.6 mm, 35.9 mm; two females, SVL  =  42.7 mm, 45.1 mm), 620 (ex. 638; five juveniles, SVL  =  25.6 mm, 26.6 mm, 26.9 mm, 27.3 mm, 27.4 mm), 621 (ex. 638; two juveniles, SVL  =  25.5 mm, 30.9 mm; one female, SVL  =  39.9 mm).

Remarks

Scortecci (1933) described the subspecies Rana oxyrhynchus migiurtina (Fig. 6B,D) based on specimens from the Migiurtinia region of Somalia. He described this subspecies in a lengthy description on Rana oxyrhynchus and, unfortunately, did not make explicit which specimens represented the type series. In explaining the environment in which this subspecies is found, Scortecci (1933) makes reference to “Nella Migiurtinia e particolarmente nei monti dell'Ahl Mascat ed in tutta la valle che li separa dall'Ahl Medoh.” As Scortecci (1933) lists both Uadi Arro and Uadi Badulle as being in Ahl Mascat, the type series would probably best be considered corresponding to the two lots numbered 638 and 639 in his paper. Because it was collected in Migiurtinia, it is possible that the single female specimen reported from “El Donfar (Migiurtinia)” should be included among the types, but we do not recognize it here as Scortecci specifically referenced “Ahl Mascat” in his description. Many of the specimens from Uadi Badulle (MSNM Am 614) and Uadi Arro (MSNM Am 620) still exist in the MSNM collections. Of the existing specimens, the one most closely resembling that figured by Scortecci (1933) is shown in Figure 6 (B,D). Though Guibé and Lamotte (1960) did not examine the type specimens, which they presumed lost, they suggested that Rana oxyrhynchus migiurtina is a synonym of Ptychadena anchietae, which was followed by later authors such as Lanza (1981).

Current taxonomy

Tomopterna elegans (Calabresi, 1927).

Original publication information

“Quattro esemplari raccolti nel pozzo di Hongolò (Uadi Hoor) [Hongolo, Puntland State of Somalia; 8.8947 50.2062]” (Calabresi, 1927); one individual listed with SVL of 19 mm; no specimen numbers provided.

Current catalog information

One paralectotype: MSNM Am 1328 (ex. 585; juvenile, SVL  =  13.6 mm).

Remarks

Calabresi (1927) described Arthroleptis elegans (Fig. 7A,C) based on four specimens collected from a well at Hongolò in Uadi Hoor. Scortecci (1933) treated Arthroleptis elegans as valid alongside his Rana (Pyxicephalus) delalandei. Lanza (1978) designated the lectotype (listed in Scali, 2010) and paralectotypes and pointed out that these represent “actually very young individuals of Tomopterna (delalandei) cryptotis” (Lanza 1978:239–240). Lanza (1978) also noted that the lectotype and two of the paralectotypes are in the Museo di Storia Naturale La Specola of the Università degli Studi di Firenze; the remaining paralectotype is in MSNM. Zimkus and Larson (2011) resurrected this taxon from synonymy with T. cryptotis. Though morphological comparisons are not presented, the association of type material with specimens used in the phylogenetic analysis of Zimkus and Larson (2011) is based on these coming from the same geographic region.

Fig. 7.

Arthroleptis elegans Calabresi, 1927 (A,C; MSNM Am 1328, paralectotype), Rana (Pyxicephalus) cimmarutai Calabresi, 1927 (B,D; MSNM Am 2, holotype). Scale bars  =  5 mm.

Fig. 7.

Arthroleptis elegans Calabresi, 1927 (A,C; MSNM Am 1328, paralectotype), Rana (Pyxicephalus) cimmarutai Calabresi, 1927 (B,D; MSNM Am 2, holotype). Scale bars  =  5 mm.

Current taxonomy

Pyxicephalus obbianus Calabresi, 1927.

Original publication information

“Un esemplare di Gardo (Migiurtinia) [Qardho, Puntland State of Somalia; 9.505062 49.084944], di 2 altri esemplari e di 7 larve provenienti da Las Aer a 90 Km. ad ovest di Obbia. L'essemplare di Gardo, che prendo come tipo…”; SVL for Gardo specimen given as 40 mm (Scortecci, 1932a); further collection data provided by Scortecci (1933) includes specimen numbers and collection dates: specimen from Gardo is “N. 645” collected on 20 August 1931, and others from Las Aer are “N. 646” collected 21 October 1930.

Current catalog information

MSNM Am 2 (ex. 645; holotype; ?juvenile, SVL  =  37.2 mm), 3 (ex. 646; paratype; ?juvenile, SVL  =  31.2 mm), 4 (ex. 646; paratype; ?juvenile, SVL  =  24.0 mm).

Remarks

Scortecci (1932a) described Rana (Pyxicephalus) cimmarutai (Fig. 7B,D) based on one specimen from Gardo (considered as the type in that publication) and nine specimens from near Obbia (including seven tadpoles). Scortecci (1933) later provided a more thorough description of these specimens and recognized it as distinct from Pyxicephalus obbianus. Balletto et al. (1978) recognized Rana (Pyxicephalus) cimmarutai as a junior synonym of Pyxicephalus obbianus.

Current taxonomy

Hylarana galamensis (Duméril and Bibron, 1841).

Original publication information

“(No. 606) 1 ♂. Villaggio Duca degli Abruzzi [Jowhar, Somalia; 2.780868 45.500484]. 9 Dicembre 1928 – U. Fiechter l. d.” SVL  =  50 mm (Scortecci, 1929).

Current catalog information

Holotype: MSNM Am 1327 (ex. 606; SVL  =  47.3 mm).

Remarks

Loveridge (1936a) recognized Rana fiechteri (Fig. 8A,C), Rana magretti Scortecci, 1929, and Rana somalica Scortecci, 1930, as junior synonyms of Rana (now Hylarana) galamensis bravanus (Peters, 1882). However, Loveridge (1936a) pointed out that examination of the type specimen of Rana fiechteri was “worth checking before acceptance of [his] conclusion.” Perret (1977) followed Loveridge (1936a), as did Lanza (1990). Largen (1997) mentions only Rana magretti as a junior synonym of Hylarana galamensis, and Largen (1997, 2001b) did not comment on either Rana fiechteri or Rana somalica.

Fig. 8.

Rana fiechteri Scortecci, 1929 (A,C; MSNM Am 1327, holotype), Rana zavattarii Scortecci, 1936 (B,D; MSNM Am 50, syntype). Scale bars  =  10 mm.

Fig. 8.

Rana fiechteri Scortecci, 1929 (A,C; MSNM Am 1327, holotype), Rana zavattarii Scortecci, 1936 (B,D; MSNM Am 50, syntype). Scale bars  =  10 mm.

Current taxonomy

Hylarana galamensis (Duméril and Bibron, 1841).

Original publication information

“N. 642 – 1 ♂, 2 juv. – Villaggio Duca degli Abruzzi [Jowhar, Somalia; 2.780868 45.500484], Febbraio 1930” (Scortecci, 1933); SVL given as 63 mm for male, and 27 and 37 mm for two juveniles (Scortecci, 1933).

Current catalog information

One syntype: MSNM Am 623 (ex. 642; SVL not measurable because of specimen condition, see below).

Remarks

Scortecci (1930) described Rana somalica based on three specimens (one female and two juveniles) collected by U. Fiechter in February 1930. Scortecci (1930) stated that this species “approaches” Rana fiechteri, which he earlier described from the same locality (Scortecci 1929). MSNM Am 623 is a disarticulated skeleton with associated pieces of skin in alcohol. It seems to represent the single larger individual cited in Scortecci (1933); there is no evidence of the two smaller specimens and these may have been lost. Loveridge (1936a) considered this a junior synonym of Rana (now Hylarana) galamensis bravanus (Peters, 1882).

Current taxonomy

Pelophylax saharicus (Boulenger in Hartert, 1913).

Original publication information

“…Dell'oasi di Elbarkat [Al Barkat, Libya; 24.888125 10.182946]…1 es. juv. 2 Marzo 1934. G. Scortecci l. 2 es. ad. Estate 1934. Cav. G. Garganese l. 7 larve. Estate 1934. Cav. G. Garganese l”; SVL of adult and juvenile specimens given as 49, 42, and 30 mm SVL (Scortecci 1936).

Current catalog information

Seven syntypes: MSNM Am 50 (syntype; juvenile; SVL  =  28.5 mm), 261 (former collection number unknown; lot of five tadpoles), 1445 (ex. 80; sex unknown, SVL  =  47.8 mm).

Remarks

Dubois and Ohler (1996) reported that the type specimens of Rana zavattarii Scortecci 1936 could no longer be found. During the course of this study, using a combination of collections data and measurement data, we identified the likely syntypes of this species in the MSNM collection (Fig. 8B,D). The MSNM specimens matching the original publication data correspond to one juvenile specimen collected by Scortecci, a series of five tadpoles, and possibly one adult specimen collected by Garganese. This suggests that two of the tadpoles and one of the adults collected by Garganese have been lost. Both Eiselt and Schmidtler (1973) and Dubois and Ohler (1996) suggested this taxon to be junior synonym of what is today recognized as Pelophylax saharicus (Boulenger in Hartert, 1913), and our examination of these syntypes confirms this. This is the southernmost locality for Pelophylax saharicus in Libya. Dumont (1987) reported its presence at Al Barkat, but more recent surveys by Frynta et al. (2000) and Ibrahim (2008) did not.

Current taxonomy

Hydromantes (Speleomantes) strinatii Aellen, 1958.

Original publication information

Località tipica. Grotta detta <<Tana Ia du Casà>> (537 Li); 4°30′27″ e 44°00′12″; I.G.M.: F 91, Q II, S.E., Pieve di Teco. Situata sul versante Sud del Colle San Bartolomeo nell'alta Valle del torrente Impero, nel comune di Caravonica, in provincia di Imperia, a m 712 s.l.m. Olotipo. ♂, n. 1271 M[arco] B[ologna]…proveniente dalla località tipica e catturato il 10-X-1971 dal dr. C. Bonzano. Ora nella collezione erpetologica del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milano. Allotipo. ♀, n. 1273 MB, proveniente dalla località tipica e catturato il 10-X-1971 dal dr. C. Bonzano. Ora nella collezione erpetologica del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milano” (Bruno and Bologna, 1973).

Current catalog information

MSNM Am 1325 (1271 MB; holotype; male, SVL  =  51.9 mm), 1325 (1273 MB; allotype; female, SVL  =  56.6 mm).

Remarks

Bruno and Bologna (1973) differentiated Hydromantes italicus bonzanoi (Fig. 9) from other related subspecies by relative differences in the lengths of the hind foot and head. Bruno (1973) followed Bruno and Bologna (1973) by recognizing H. italicus bonzanoi as one of seven subspecies of H. italicus (strinatii, bonzanoi, argentatus, ligusticus, ambrosii, gormani, italicus). Nascetti et al. (1996) refined the taxonomy related to H. italicus and H. ambrosii and recognized H. strinatii as distinct from H. ambrosii. Because that analysis included samples from type localities of ligusticus, argentatus, bonzanoi, and strinatii, the authors argued that these all represented a single species, H. strinatii; this was followed by Lanza et al. (2005, 2007) and Forti et al. (1997). Raffaëlli (2007) did not recognize subspecies of Hydromantes (Speleomantes) strinatii (i.e., Hydromantes italicus argentatus, Hydromantes italicus ligusticus, or Hydromantes italicus bonzanoi) but did retain italicus as a “type” of H. strinatii. Carranza et al. (2008) included specimens from the region of the type locality of H. italicus bonzanoi (ca. Imperia, Liguria) but did not comment on previously proposed subspecific taxonomy related to H. strinatii.

Fig. 9.

Hydromantes italicus bonzanoi (A,B; MSNM Am 1325, holotype). Scale bar  =  10 mm.

Fig. 9.

Hydromantes italicus bonzanoi (A,B; MSNM Am 1325, holotype). Scale bar  =  10 mm.

Amphibian Taxa for Which All Type Specimens May Be Lost

The type specimens of three taxa described by Giuseppe Scortecci are absent from the MSNM collections: Rana demarchii Scortecci, 1929, Rana magretti Scortecci, 1929, and Hyperolius destefanii Scortecci, 1943. Types of other taxa described in these same publications are present in MSNM. Other specimens collected by Dr. P. Magretti and cited in Scortecci (1929) are still in the MSNM collections, but the type specimens of Rana magretti or other amphibian specimens from Ghinda from the 1920s or before could not be located. The original publication data for Rana demarchii list one male and one female from Eritrea collected by Dr. G. Ferri, though no amphibian specimens from Eritrea collected by Ferri are currently known to reside in MSNM; see Largen (1997) and Largen and Spawls (2010) for further discussion of this enigmatic taxon. Hyperolius destefanii was described based on a single male specimen from Nargi (Scortecci, 1943), but neither this specimen nor any other amphibian from this locality can be located at MSNM. Further, neither these three taxa nor specimens with similar collection data are included in the list of specimens present in the collections in Genoa by Doria et al. (2001–2002), nor are they obviously in other Italian collections (Mazzotti, 2010). At present, we consider these specimens lost.

Specimens of three taxa described in the 19th Century have been previously stated as having originally been at MSNM but are now lost (Frost, 1985, 2013). Based on Conci (1967), Frost (1985) cited the type specimens of Phryniscus ignescens Cornalia 1849 (now Atelopus ignescens) as lost; see also Lötters (1996) and Coloma et al. (2000). The English summary provided at the end of Conci's (1967) work on Jan's life and work states “Nearly all the collections that belonged to the Milan Museum in the period covered by this work were completely destroyed in 1943 as a result of fire caused by air bombardment.” In the account of Atelopus ignescens (Cornalia, 1849) in the first edition of Amphibian Species of the World, Frost (1985) states “Formerly MSNM, but now lost, according to Conci, 1967.” In later versions of Amphibian Species of the World, this extrapolation from Conci's English summary was extended to other taxa for which type specimens were believed to be in Milan (e.g., Frost, 2013). In fact, of the Milan herpetological collections, Conci (1967) only references “Jan's collection of snakes” as lost, and no other specific details were provided. Examination of the 1853 handwritten catalog in the MSNM archives reveals the presence of two specimens of “Phryniscus ignescens” numbered 231 and 232. These specimens were presumably the type specimens and there is no evidence of them today in the MSNM collections; we assume them lost. Similarly, Pelobates insubricus Cornalia, 1873 (now Pelobates fuscus; Laurenti, 1768), is stated by Frost (2013) to have been “presumably originally in MSNM.” The MSNM catalogs indicate that in 1873 several specimens (including one male and one female) from “Mirasole” (a town near Milan) were catalogued as Pelobates fuscus. These specimens may represent the types, but because we could not locate them during our study we assume that they too are lost. Finally, Frost (2013) states that types of Hyla phrynoderma Boulenger, 1889 (now Scinax acuminatus; Cope, 1862) are at MSNM. However, neither Boulenger (1889) nor Condit's (1964) later work on hylid frogs in the British Museum, nor the MSNM catalog, provide any support that these specimens were ever deposited at MSNM, the Museo Civico di Storia Naturale “G. Doria” di Genova (Doria et al. 2001–2002), or the Museo di Storia Naturale dell'Università di Firenze (La Specola; Nistri, 2010).

The 19th Century Collections and Jan's Nomina Nuda

Previous workers have suggested that the entirety of the herpetological collections of Giorgio Jan used in publications such as Jan's (1857) ,Cenni sul Museo Civico di Milano ed Indice sistematico dei rettili ed anfibi esposti nel medesimo or Jan and Sordelli's (1860–1866) Iconographie Générale des Ophidiens was destroyed or lost. Also presumed lost are specimens used by other 19th Century authors, especially Cornalia (1849, 1873; see above). The principal reason for this loss is the destruction of large portions of the Museo Civico di Storia Naturale during Allied bombings in August 1943 (Parisi, 1944; Conci, 1967; Frost, 1985; Barbagli, 2010; Scali, 2010). Parisi (1944) figured the destroyed hall of reptiles where most of the Jan collections are believed to have resided and noted that most of the herpetological collections were relatively recent (i.e., early–mid 20th Century). These remaining collections, including the important Italian colonial collections made by Scortecci, Cipriani, Moltoni, Zavattari, Patrizi, Puccioni, and others were left largely, if not entirely, intact.

During the course of our survey of the amphibian collection, several specimens from Jan's 19th Century collection were discovered. In most cases, these specimen jars contained a numeric code either on the jar or on paper within the jar. We were able to match these numbers to those added to the handwritten 1853 catalog in the MSNM archives, presumably in the late 19th Century. All of these names appear on the left-hand side of the catalog rather than the right side, which contains the bulk of the names featured in Jan (1857). Curiously, these names appear alongside others that the second, undated catalog demonstrates only entered the MSNM collection after Jan's (1857) publication in the later 19th Century, and both the names that are nomina nuda in Jan's (1857) catalog and those added to the collection later appear to be written by the same person and possibly at the same time (Fig. 10). This indicates that these nomina nuda were likely added to the 1853 catalog after Jan's (1857) catalog and suggests that their original inclusion in that publication might not have been originally intended. Because several of these taxa are nomina nuda, including one genus, we provide details and figure the relevant specimens. These nomina nuda were likely based on “shelf names” using names sent from workers at other institutions. For further details on Jan's nomina nuda, see Frost (2013).

Fig. 10.

Excerpts from unpublished 1853 catalog showing records for Physodes albiventris (top), several species of Rana including Rana Savignyi (middle), and Eupomplyx marmoratus (bottom).

Fig. 10.

Excerpts from unpublished 1853 catalog showing records for Physodes albiventris (top), several species of Rana including Rana Savignyi (middle), and Eupomplyx marmoratus (bottom).

Current taxonomy

Eupemphix nattereri Steindachner, 1863.

Current catalog information

MSNM Am 858 (ex. 243; ?female, SVL  =  32.8 mm).

Remarks

Jan (1857) attributes both Eupomplyx and E. marmoratus (Fig. 11A,D) to “Fitz. Tsch.” and listed this taxon as occurring in “Brasile.” In the 1853 notebook, this taxon name (Fig. 10) is annotated with “Fi[?]”; a later catalog indicates the locality of this specimen as “Brasile.” Steindachner (1864) listed “Eupemphix marmoratus Fitz. Tschudi, Mus. Vindob. Milan” as a synonym of Eupemphix nattereri, which he had described the previous year. Given that the likely authority noted in the 1853 catalog represents Leopold Fitzinger of the Naturhistorisches Museum Wien, it is plausible that the “shelf name” of a specimen sent to Jan by Fitzinger was later published by Jan as a nomen nudum in 1857, but then described in 1863 by Steindachner (who worked with the same collection in Wien) using the name Eupemphix nattereri. The type material of Eupemphix naterreri (as well as Pleurodema elegans Steindachner 1863; see below) was collected by Natterer in Brazil and arrived in Wien in 1836. While correspondence documenting exchanges between Wien and Milan is not available in either institution, the number of individuals received from Natterer is clearly larger than the number of specimens later used by Steindachner in his species descriptions and, thus, suggests that some material may have been sent to other institutions (H. Grillitsch, personal communication).

Fig. 11.

Specimens corresponding to nomina nuda from Jan's (1857) catalog. Eupomplyx marmoratus Jan, 1857 (A,D; MSNM Am 858), Physodes albiventris Jan, 1857 (B,E; MSNM Am 859), Rana Savignyi Jan, 1857 (C,F; one of four specimens in lot MSNM Am 739). Scale bars  =  10 mm.

Fig. 11.

Specimens corresponding to nomina nuda from Jan's (1857) catalog. Eupomplyx marmoratus Jan, 1857 (A,D; MSNM Am 858), Physodes albiventris Jan, 1857 (B,E; MSNM Am 859), Rana Savignyi Jan, 1857 (C,F; one of four specimens in lot MSNM Am 739). Scale bars  =  10 mm.

Current taxonomy

Pleurodema brachyops (Cope, 1869).

Current catalog information

MSNM Am 859 (ex. 13; male, SVL  =  43.3 mm).

Remarks

Jan (1857) attributes both Physodes and P. albiventris (Fig. 11B,E) to “Fitz. Tsch.” and listed this taxon as occurring in “Brasile.” In the 1853 notebook, this taxon name (Fig. 10) is annotated with “Fitz.” and “Br.” Physodes has been considered as a genus of unknown affinity (Frost, 2013). As above, this was likely a “shelf name” of a specimen sent by Fitzinger to Jan. The specimen in the MSNM collections that is labeled with the name Physodes albiventris is most likely a species of the leptodactylid frog Pleurodema. Based on morphological data presented by Maciel and Nunes (2010), MSNM Am 859 most closely resembles Pleurodema brachyops and differs from other Pleurodema species found in Brazil. Pleurodema elegans Steindachner, 1863, is a synonym of P. brachyops and, as for Eumpemphix naterreri above, was described based on specimens collected by Naterrer in Brazil that arrived in the Naturhistorisches Museum Wien in 1836 (H. Grillitsch, personal communicatuon). While the locality data for Physodes albiventris is given as only “Brasile” by Jan, if these specimens were exchanged from Wien and represent part of the original series used to described Pleurodema elegans, then it is likely that the specimen in Milan was collected in what is now the state of Roraima in northern Brazil.

Current taxonomy

Ptychadena nilotica (Seetzen, 1855).

Current catalog information

MSNM Am 739 (ex. 48; four specimens: male, SVL  =  34.4 mm; female, SVL  =  36.0 mm; metamorph, SVL  =  20.4 mm, total length  =  47.0 mm; tadpole, total length  =  56.0 mm), 740 (ex. 49; two specimens: male, SVL  =  37.1 mm; ?female, SVL  =  36.5 mm).

Remarks

Jan (1857) used Rana Savignyi (Fig. 11C,F) without attribution and listed it as occurring in “Egitto.” Presumably the species name derives from Marie Jules César Savigny (b. 1777, d. 1851) who was part of the French scientific expedition accompanying Napoléon Bonaparte to Egypt in 1798 and later contributed to the Déscription de l'Égypte. Boulenger (1879) recognized that the specimens figured in 1809 by Audouin and Savigny in Descrption de l'Égypte corresponded to Jan's Rana Savignyi and thus considered this to be a synonym of what has long been recognized as Ptychadena mascareniensis. Similar to above, this name appears listed on the left side of the 1853 notebook where it is recorded as “Savigny” rather than “Savignyi” (Fig. 10), suggesting that it might not have been intended as a patronym but was an error in transcribing the notebook to print. Dehling and Sinsch (2013) recently recognized populations from Egypt, Rwanda, Uganda, and Kenya as both conspecific and different from Ptychadena mascareniensis and, thus, resurrected Ptychadena nilotica.

Other 19th Century Specimens of Interest

During our survey, we located three additional taxa mentioned by Jan (1857). Based on identification, locality information, and specimen numbers we believe the specimens at MSNM to be the same as those used by Jan. As MSNM specimens for two of these species appear to have been sent by Duméril to Jan (see Jan, 1857), it is plausible that these specimens are from among the type series of those species. These taxa—Rana Delalandii Duméril and Bibron, 1841, Rana fuscigula Duméril and Bibron, 1841, and Rana fasciata Smith, 1849—were indicated by Jan (1857) as coming from “Capo” (i.e., the Cape of Good Hope of South Africa). The specimens still extant in MSNM referred to these three taxa are as follows: Rana Delalandii (MSNM Am 785; ex. 53; male, SVL  =  50.1 mm; female, SVL  =  60.7 mm); Rana fuscigula (MSNM Am 676; ex. 52; ?female, SVL  =  76.5 mm); Rana fasciata (MSNM Am 688; ex. 54; ?female, SVL  =  48.7 mm). Frost (2013) lists Rana Delalandii as “presumed lost as not mentioned in MNHNP type list,” but Guibé (1950) cites both this species and associated type specimens (MNHNP 4473 and 4474). However, the type specimens of both Rana Delalandii and Rana fuscigula are still in the MNHNP collections (A. Ohler, personal communication). The taxonomy of Rana fasciata Smith, 1849, now Strongylopus fasciatus, is complicated (for summary, see Frost, 1985). Both the 1853 and 1857 catalogs give the authority as Boie. As discussed by Dubois (1997), Boie (1832) referred to Rana fasciata Burchell (1824), but in fact Boie's usage refers to what is now recognized as Strongylopus grayii (Smith, 1849). Jan (1857) and the unpublished late-19th Century catalog lists the locality for Rana fasciata Boie as from “Capo” or “Capo B. Sp,” which corresponds to the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, the region from which the types of Rana grayii Smith, 1849, were collected. While the specimens of Rana Delalandii and Rana fuscigula likely were sent by Duméril, the origin of the specimen of Rana fasciata remains unclear.

The primary goal of this work is to facilitate future research on the taxa included here. As additional research is carried out on the diversity and evolution of amphibians in both North Africa and the Horn of Africa, there will be a need for comparisons to type specimens, especially in cases where cryptic diversity is revealed in species with junior synonyms (e.g., Zimkus and Larson, 2011). Documenting the collection of type specimens of amphibian species still present in the Museo Civico di Storia Naturale in Milan is important to avoid designating neotypes when, in fact, these types still exist. Further, our survey reveals that at least some portion still exists of the MSNM's important 19th Century collection of amphibian and reptiles. In addition to those listed above, we located non-type specimens of frogs catalogued during the late 19th Century. While the origin of these other specimens remains unclear, several are indicated as originating from Angola, and appear to have been sent to MSNM from Lisbon by José Vincente Barboza du Bocage, which is significant given the loss of the zoology collections of the Museu Nacional de História Natural e da Ciência in Lisbon due to a fire in 1978 (Almaça and Neves, 1987). Clearly, not all of the 19th Century collections brought together at MSNM by Giorgio Jan were lost in the 1943 bombing of the museum by Allied forces (Conci, 1967; Scali, 2010), and a short, informal survey of the reptile collection reveals that some further 19th Century specimens of reptiles remain at MSNM. A thorough and detailed survey of the MSNM reptile collections is worthwhile and may reveal components of an important collection long thought lost.

We thank G. Bardelli for his assistance with maintaining and organizing the Milan herpetological collections and for providing DCB with help during his visits. D. Taylor assisted with portions of this work during 2011. A. Ohler assisted with verifying information in the MNHNP collections, and H. Grillitsch kindly provided details on the Naterrer collections in the Naturhistorisches Museum Wien. C. Corti and B. Lanza supplied copies of literature useful to this and ongoing work with Italian collections. M.G. Cuoghi, of the Istituto per lo Studio degli Ecosistemi (Consiglio Nazionale delle Richerche, Italy), provided details on the collections of the Instituto di Idrobiologia di Roma. We thank W. Duellman and I. Nunes for together providing suggestions for the identification of Physodes albiventris. Both A. Bauer and D. Frost provided valuable comments on drafts of this manuscript. The United States National Science Foundation (DEB 1019444 and 1202609) supported visits to the scientific research collections of the Museo Civico di Storia Naturale in Milan by DCB in 2011 and 2012.

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