Type specimens of non-fossil mammals in the Australian Museum, Sydney
The Australian Museum (AM) Mammal Collection represents one of the most significant world collections from the Australo-Pacific region, with over 50,000 mammal specimens of some 650 species from the region. The Collection contains about 882 primary (name bearing) and secondary mammal type specimens, representing 210 proposed names (species and subspecies), 124 of which are currently recognized as valid taxa. All are of taxa originating from the Australian region, Indonesia, Melanesia and the south-west Pacific. The 205 primary type specimens comprise 145 holotype specimens (on which 149 names are based), seven lectotypes, two neotypes; 33 syntypes of 18 taxa; and 18 specimens suspected to be syntypes of 11 taxa. Primary type material of the 185 named taxa represent 4 monotremes, 62 marsupials, 2 canids, 9 cetaceans, 68 rodents and 40 bats. The 677 secondary type specimens comprise 659 paratypes, 15 paralectotypes, and three suspected paralectotypes.
This is the first published list of non-fossil mammal types in the AM Collection since the publication of Krefft’s catalogue in 1864. Individual accounts are presented discussing type status of 233 taxa by their originally proposed names, which includes taxa for which the type series has not been located since publication of the name. Registration data are given, with additional information not included in the published description, along with new information on many taxa proposed in the 19th century. Photographs of the primary type specimens of 43 taxa are provided, many of which are the first published images. New insights and a summary of current information is given for 14 taxa for which type material has not been located in world collections but we believe might have originally been lodged in the AM.
Type material of seven taxa named by Krefft, Gray and Ramsay (all suspected junior synonyms), were identified in the AM Collection and are reported here for the first time since their original publication. These are: holotypes of Canis familiaris var. papuensis Ramsay, 1879, and Macleayius australiensis Gray, 1865 (= Eubalaena australis (Desmoulins, 1822)); syntypes of Pteropus rufus Ramsay, 1891 (= Pteropus neohibernicus Peters, 1876), Cuscus chrysorrhous var. goldiei Ramsay, 1877 (= Spilocuscus maculatus goldiei (Ramsay, 1877)), and Antechinus allanii Krefft, 1872 (= Antechinus cf. stuartii Macleay, 1841); and suspected syntypes of Halmaturus mastersii Krefft, 1871 (= Wallabia bicolor mastersii), and Phascolomys assimilis Krefft, 1872 (= Vombatus ursinus (Shaw, 1800)). The registration numbers of likely syntypes of two forgotten names, Antechinus brevicaudatus Krefft, 1872 (= ?Antechinus spp.), and Phalangista rufescens Krefft, 1872 (= Trichosurus spp.) have been located in the old specimen registers, the specimens have not yet been found in the Collection.
The type series of many taxa proposed by Krefft and Ramsay are not fully defined and syntypes could remain unrecognized in the many institutions to which they extensively exchanged specimens during the 19th century. No nomenclatural actions are taken in this paper.