Research on Asian Agamid Lizards: Contribution of Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg

Natalia B. Ananjeva

Abstract


In this paper, I give an overview of the study of agamid lizards in the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (ZISP),  St.Petersburg.  Naturally, history of this study is inseparably associated with general zoological research in Russia.  During the period of exploration and organized scientific expeditions, the Russian Academy of Sciences aimed to study the natural resources of the unbounded territories of Russia, and a number of prominent foreign scientists were invited to Russia for these research expeditions.  One of the most prominent scientists was Peter S. Pallas (1741-1811), whose activities resulted in the first inventory of biological resources of the country.  This period was also a time of exploration and descriptions in herpetology. Among the first expeditions, of interest to herpetologists was Peter S. Pallas’s trip to eastern Russia and Siberia (1768-1773), and herpetological studies can be traced to this scientist, whose 270th  Anniversary we celebrated in 2011. One of the results of Pallas's great expedition was the first inventory of amphibians and reptiles of the fauna of Russia and of description of numerous new species of amphibians and reptiles. Most of the collections (including amphibians and reptiles) were taken to the Crimea where he finished writing his classical book, «Zoographia Rosso-Asiatica» (Svetovidov, 1978) that can be regarded as the first complete inventory of amphibians and reptiles.  Unfortunately, most of his material is no longer available; some specimens were transferred later to the Zoological Museum of the Humboldt-University in Berlin and the National Museum of Natural History in Paris.


Keywords


Squamata; Acrodonta; Agamidae; history; Department of Herpetology, Zoological Institute, St. Petersburg

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.30906/1026-2296-2019-19-%25s-85-100

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