Oliver et al. have just published an impressive paper dealing with re-located type material of Colonel George Montagu (1753-1815).
“A complete list of new molluscan taxa introduced by Col. George Montagu (1753–1815) is presented. The available type material of these taxa are itemised and illustrated. The majority are present in the Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Exeter with a smaller number in the Natural History Museum, London. The historic background of both collections is reviewed with special reference to the many non-British species spuriously introduced into Testacea Britannica and its Supplement”.
I know that locating historical collections doesn’t sound like rocket-science. but in our discipline where ‘every name counts’ it is really very helpful to have type material from our deceased colleagues available for study. And, of course, the further back in time the more difficult it becomes to locate this material and track its provenance.
In the paper also some Neotropical material turned up, quite unexpected for someone who worked on ‘Testacea Britannica’ (i.c. British shells)!
Here is his Helix detrita Montagu, 1803 not Müller, 1774. It proved to be a specimen of Drymaeus elongatus (Röding, 1789), a West Indian species…
Finally, it’s worth repeating here the last lines of their paper: “It is sad to report that those with a knowledge of historic conchology are diminising in numbers and that curatorial expertise throughout the museum sector is threatening the value and access of many collections”.
Oliver PG, Morgenroth H, Salvador A (2017) Type specimens of Mollusca described by Col. George Montagu in the Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Exeter and The Natural History Museum, London. Zoosystematics and Evolution 93(2): 363-412. https://doi.org/10.3897/zse.93.13073