PaleoDB taxon number: 364327
(Corsini et al. 2014): Given that we were not able to identify a single individual from Bronnís (1831) original syntype series, we herein designate the best-preserved specimen, MT PAL 2012.0.10, as the neotype, and abandon the lectotype designation by Schleich (1981). The original description of T. antiqua is based on shell material from three to four specimens collected at Hohenhowen, but Bronnís (1831) descriptions and illustrations are insufficient for identification of the individuals in that original syntype series within the available material. Von Meyer (1865) clearly illustrated FFSM 3446.1, perhaps also UFGC 9, and stated that Bronn examined those two in his original work, but we were unable to independently verify this assertion. Schleich (1981) felt compelled to designate SMNS 4450, a poorly prepared and extremely deformed individual, as the lectotype, probably because it was readily available at the Stuttgart Museum (SMNS). However, given that we found no evidence that SMNS 4450 was indeed part of the syntype series, the designation of a lectotype is dubious to us, and we also question the assignment of type status to a specimen with so many missing characters. Karl (2013) more recently argued that the specimen housed at the University of Freiburg Geological Museum (UFGC 9) should be the lectotype, based mainly upon the fact that von Meyer (1865) was thought to have viewed that specimen. However, he makes no clear connection between that specimen and the specimens viewed by Bronn in 1806. The designation of a lectotype is therefore not valid, as lectotypes must demonstrably be part of the original syntype series. We therefore conclude that a neotype designation is appropriate, and designate MT PAL.2012.0.10 as the neotype because: 1) it originates from the type locality; 2) it is the best preserved specimen; and 3) it is easily accessible in a large public collection. We finally note that one specimen at FFSM is also quite well preserved, but we omitted this specimen from consideration, because it is not housed at a regular, public museum.
Sister taxa: Testudo (Chersine), Testudo (Stylemys), Testudo amberiacensis, Testudo amiatae, Testudo antakyensis, Testudo atlas, Testudo bosporica, Testudo brevitesta, Testudo brontops, Testudo carinata, Testudo cautleyi, Testudo cernovi, Testudo changshanensis, Testudo chienfutungensis, Testudo costarricensis, Testudo craverii, Testudo denizoti, Testudo despotti, Testudo emys, Testudo escheri, Testudo eurysternum, Testudo floweri, Testudo geometrica, Testudo globosa, Testudo graeca, Testudo hellenica, Testudo hexagonata, Testudo hipparionum, Testudo honanensis, Testudo houzei, Testudo hypercostata, Testudo hypselonota, Testudo ibera, Testudo imbricata, Testudo indica, Testudo kalksburgensis, Testudo kenitrensis, Testudo kleinmanni, Testudo larteti, Testudo lunanensis, Testudo lutaria, Testudo margae, Testudo marginata, Testudo marmorum, Testudo nanus, Testudo oughlamensis, Testudo pecorinii, Testudo phosphoritarum, Testudo promarginata, Testudo punjabiensis, Testudo pusilla, Testudo scabra, Testudo semenensis, Testudo shansiensis, Testudo sharanensis, Testudo shensiensis, Testudo shilouensis, Testudo sloanei, Testudo sphaerica, Testudo tarakliensis, Testudo terrestris, Testudo tunhuanensis, Testudo ulanensis, Testudo weissingeri, Testudo yunnanensis
Type specimen: MT PAL 2012.0.10 (neotype), a shell. Its type locality is Hohenhowen, which is in a Miocene terrestrial gypsum in Germany.