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Revista Brasileira de Zoologia

Print version ISSN 0101-8175

Rev. Bras. Zool. vol.3 no.1 Curitiba  1985 

Further comment on the nomenclature of the freshwater stingray Elipesurus spinicauda Schomburgk, 1843 (Chondrichthyes: Potamotrygonidae)



Ricardo S. Rosa

Departamento de Sistemática e Ecologia, CCEN, Universidade Federal da Paraíba, Cidade Universitária, 58000 João Pessoa, PB




The monotypic genus Elipesurus of neotropical freshwater stingrays, and its type species E. spinicauda, are known from a single specimen which lacked a developed tail and caudal sting. No type or similar specimens exist. The original description and illustration are inaccurate, without diagnostic measurements or characters, excepting those mentioned above. Therefore, a precise identification of E. spinicauda remains impòssible, and both names are considered doubtful. Since all other potamotrygonid stingrays have more or less developed tails and stings, the Elipesurus condition is regarded as a mutilation.



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I thank W. L. Fink (formerly at Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, MCZ) and K. Hartel (MCZ) for loaning the syntypes of D. thayeri; Dr. H.-J. Paepke (Zoologisches Museum der Humboldt Universität, Berlin) and H. P. Castello (Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales Bernardino Rivadavia) for sending photographs and a radiograph of the type of T. strogylopterus.

I also thank Drs. R. M. Bailey (University of Michigan Museum of Zoology), R. V. Melville, Secretary of the International Comission on Zoological Nomenclature (British Museum, Natural History), T. B. Thorson (University of Nebraska-Lincoln), S. H. Weitzman (U. S. National Museum of Natural History), John D. McEachran (Texas A & M University), J. A. Musick (Virginia Institute of Marine Science, VIMS), and K. J. Sulak (VIMS) for their comments on the manuscript. This study was supported by a grant from CAPES, Ministério da Educação e Cultura do Brasil.



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