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On the identity of Catesby's fish in armour, “Cataphractus Americanus” (Siluriformes: Doradidae)
- Pérez, Mark H. Sabaj
- Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 2014 v.163 pp. 119-132
- Platydoras, Silurus, catfish, islands, lectotypes, natural history, scientific illustration, taxon descriptions, Florida
- In the Appendix to his classic two-volume work, “The Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands…”, Mark Catesby (1747:19, Pl. 19) described and illustrated the doradid catfish “Cataphractus Americanus”. The names “Cataphractus” and “Cataphractus Americanus” are not available from pre- and post-Linnaean editions of Catesby's work (i.e., Catesby, 1747; 1754; 1771) including Edwards' (1771b) Catalogue appended to the third edition. Linnaeus (1758), however, cited Catesby's “Cataphractus Americanus” in his description of Silurus cataphractus, a species currently valid in Acanthodoras Bleeker 1862. Based on this study of Catesby's original description and illustration, his “Cataphractus Americanus” is newly assigned to Platydoras Bleeker 1862, rendering polytypic the type series of Silurus cataphractus Linneaus 1758. Consequently, BMNH 18184.108.40.206 [ex. Museo Gronovii] is here designated the lectotype of Silurus cataphractus Linneaus 1758, and its objective synonyms Cataphractus americanus Bloch & Schneider 1801, and Cataphractus americanus Lacépède 1803.