The nineteenth-century naturalist Henri de Saussure described 44 species of crabs and shrimps, many of them based on specimens he collected during his expedition to Mexico and the Antilles in the mid-1850s. Many of specimens used for his descriptions are in the collections of the Geneva Museum.
The specimens upon which the description of new species are based (known as type specimens, or types) are of great scientific importance because they define the identity of the species name. Anyone describing other species or revising the group needs access to these specimens, but it is not uncommon for nineteenth-century scientific publications not to explicitly state the whereabouts of the specimens in question. The types of nine of Saussure’s decapods (crabs, shrimps etc.) were discovered in the collections of the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences in the 1990s. An investigation of the Geneva Museum’s collections revealed that types of thirty four of the others are represented in them. This information, the current condition of the specimens and their current nomenclatural status are presented.
→ Article scientifique disponible en open access : HOLLIER, J., 2018. The Decapoda (Crustacea) described by Henri de Saussure, Revue suisse de zoologie. 125(2), pp.291-298.