The purpose of this application, under Article 75.6 of the Code, is to conserve the specific name of the name Oligosoma aeneum (Girard, 1857), widely used for a species of New Zealand skink, commonly known as the copper skink. We have found Tiliqua ornata Gray, 1843 (currently Oligosoma ornatum) to be a senior subjective synonym and the oldest available name for this species. The name Oligosoma ornatum has been incorrectly applied since 1977 to a similar but larger sympatric species, commonly known as the ornate skink, and prior to 1977 was in use for a third species, now identified as the brown skink, Oligosoma zelandicum (Gray, 1843). With various generic name changes the name Oligosoma ornatum has been in widespread usage for the larger ornate skink and Oligosoma aeneum for the smaller copper skink, for more than 30 years. Application of the specific name Oligosoma ornatum to a third species within 35 years will cause extreme confusion and inaccuracy of recording of biological data and conservation status. The Commission is requested to maintain the use of the junior synonym Oligosoma aeneum as a nomen protectum and suppress the name Oligosoma ornatum as a nomen oblitum.
Cyclodina aenea Girard, 1857 (currently Oligosoma aeneum; Reptilia, Squamata, scincidae): proposed conservation of the specific name and suppression of the senior subjective synonym Tiliqua ornata Gray, 1843 (currently Oligosoma ornatum Gray, 1843)," The Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 67(4), 307-313, (1 December 2010). https://doi.org/10.21805/bzn.v67i4.a14