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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/bionomina.9.1.5

On the original description of the Sacred Shrew, Sorex religiosa I. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1826 [nec 1827] (Mammalia: Soricidae)

Neal Woodman

Abstract


The original description of the Egyptian Pygmy Shrew or Sacred Shrew, Sorex religiosus I. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire (Mammalia: Soricidae: Crocidura religiosa), was based on mummies obtained by Joseph Passalacqua from the ancient Egyptian necropolis at Thebes, Egypt. The description and naming of this species is commonly credited to Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire’s (1827) compendium and review of shrews in the Mémoires du Muséum d’Histoire naturelle. However, this author also described this species in two earlier publications. The first was in a footnote to Passalacqua’s (1826) Catalogue raisonné et historique des antiquités découvertes en Égypte; the second in January 1827 in the 11th volume of the Dictionnaire classique d’Histoire naturelle. In each case, he explained what he considered to be the distinguishing characteristics of the species and presented its common and scientific names. Priority, therefore, goes to Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire’s description in Passalacqua’s (1826) Catalogue.


Keywords


Insectivora, Sorex, Crocidura, mummy, systematics, taxonomy

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References


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