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Primatological relics of the Mission Brazzà-Pecile in Equatorial Africa at the Museo di Storia Naturale of Florence University, with taxonomic notes

Abstract

The recent publication of the travel journal by Giacomo Savorgnan di Brazzà, head of a scientific mission to Western Equatorial Africa on behalf of the French government in the years 1883–1886, provides a great opportunity to increase our knowledge of a small sample of primate specimens, now preserved in the Zoological Section of the University of Florence Natural History Museum. In the present paper, some of the taxonomic aspects of the new primate species proposed on the basis of the Brazzà-Pecile’s collection deposited at the Museum National de Histoire Naturelle in Paris are also discussed. Thanks to the newly available information stored in their diaries, it is now possible to restrict more precisely type localities of newly described taxa: namely Cercopithecus brazzae, Cercocebus agilis, Colobus guereza occidentalis and Piliocolobus bouvieri.

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Acknowledgments

We wish to thank Colin P. Groves for his great help in this and many other projects regarding African mammalogy. Cecilie Callou was instrumental in sharing data on the MNHN Brazzà-Pecile specimens, and Giuliano Doria helped with rare literature. We also wish to thank Mariarosaria Senofonte of the Archivio Storico Capitolino for permission to reproduce two photos from the Brazzà’s Archive. Simona Petruzzi and Fenton Cotterill are thanked for revising the English style.

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Correspondence to Spartaco Gippoliti.

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Gippoliti, S., Agnelli, P. Primatological relics of the Mission Brazzà-Pecile in Equatorial Africa at the Museo di Storia Naturale of Florence University, with taxonomic notes. Rend. Fis. Acc. Lincei 25, 195–199 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12210-014-0289-x

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Keywords

  • Gabon
  • Republic of Congo
  • Bateke Plateau
  • Piliocolobus bouvieri
  • Scientific exploration