To Professor Anatole Bogdanow
(On the import and crossing of reptiles and amphibians)
Our Congress must pay attention to the inconvenients to taxonomists and chorologists from the import and artificial crossing of reptiles and amphibians that is nowadays practiced on a rather large scale. I set myself to counsel, by means of the press, the people who, with scientific interest or to any other purpose import these animals and aclimatent them in liberty / freedom or who cross different species to release the products of these crossings, to let us know. In order to minimize the difficulties to scientists who endeavour to establish the true habitat limits of each species and describe the characters resulting from natural instead of artificial selection.
To protect an introduced species in a given locality from the enthusism of the collectors and to give the secies the necessary time to propagate, it would undoubtedly be useful to keep the location where the species was introduced secret during several years. Then after five or ten years the secret should be revealed, as there is always a means of not indicating the precise locality that shelters the imported species. And to give my colleagues a good example, I will confide that in 1879 I introduce Pleurodeles (Molge Waltli) in Heidelberg. In 1890 I introduced Lacerta murallis var. coerulea in Nice; this beautiful variety adapted and reproduced itself in its new homeland. And lastly this year (1892) I introduced lacerta perspicillata in Nice.
As to artificially obtained Hybrids, I advise not to give them total freedom. In general, i am not an adept of random hybridisation of reptils and amphibians, and I am far from wanting to make these manipulations easier by creating formulas to name these mixed breeds. Molge Blasiusi, whose place in the system will not be easy to find, should discourage us from creating new difficulties to taxonomists.
D.J. de Bedriaga
Translation : Alexandra Escudeiro