Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access


Order Testudines: 2013 update. In: Zhang, Z.-Q. (Ed.) Animal Biodiversity: An Outline of Higher-level Classification and Survey of Taxonomic Richness (Addenda 2013)



The present paper presents an update of a list of chelonian taxa published in 2011 (Fritz 2011), which generally has followed the “Checklist of chelonians of the world” by Fritz & Havaš (2007). Although chelonians (terrapins, turtles and tortoises) do not constitute a species-rich group, there exists considerable interest in their taxonomy and systematics, a fact being related with the unique morphology, the debated phylogenetic relationships and the delicate conservations status of these reptiles. Consequently, quite a number of taxonomic changes has been proposed in the past two years.



Full Text:

PDF/A (125.84 KB)


Butler, J.M., Dodd, C.K., Aresco, M. & Austin, J.D. (2011) Morphological and molecular evidence indicates that the Gulf Coast box turtle (Terrapene carolina major) is not a distinct evolutionary lineage in the Florida Panhandle. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 102, 889–901.

Ernst, C.H. & Lovich, J.E. (2009) Turtles of the United States and Canada. Second Edition. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland, xii + 827 pp.

Fritz, U. (2011) Order Testudines Batsch, 1788. In: Zhang, Z.-Q. (Ed.), Animal biodiversity: An outline of higher-level classification and survey of taxonomic richness. Zootaxa, 3148, 61–62.

Fritz, U. & Havaš, P. (2007) Checklist of chelonians of the world. Vertebrate Zoology, 57, 149–368.

Fritz, U., Branch, W.R., Hofmeyr, M.D., Maran, J., Prokop, H., Schleicher, A., Široký, P., Stuckas, H., Vargas-Ramírez, M., Vences, M. & Hundsdörfer, A.K. (2011) Molecular phylogeny of African hinged and helmeted terrapins (Testudines: Pelomedusidae: Pelusios and Pelomedusa). Zoologica Scripta, 40, 115–125.

Fritz, U., Stuckas, H., Vargas-Ramírez, M., Hundsdörfer, A.K., Maran, J. & Päckert, M. (2012a) Molecular phylogeny of Central and South American slider turtles: implications for biogeography and systematics (Testudines: Emydidae: Trachemys). Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research, 50, 125–136.

Fritz, U., Alcalde, L., Vargas-Ramírez, M., Goode, E.V., Fabius-Turoblin, D.U. & Praschag, P. (2012b) Northern genetic richness and southern purity, but just one species in the Chelonoidis chilensis complex. Zoologica Scripta, 41, 220–232.

Fritz, U., Branch, W.R., Gehring, P.-S., Harvey, J., Kindler, C., Meyer, L., Du Preez, L., Široký, P., Vieites, D.R. & Vences, M. (2013) Weak divergence among African, Malagasy and Seychellois hinged terrapins (Pelusios castanoides, P. subniger) and evidence for human-mediated oversea dispersal. Organisms Diversity & Evolution, 13, 215–224.

Hoser, R.T. (2013) An updated taxonomy of the living Alligator snapping turtles (Macrochelys Gray, 1856), with descriptions of a new tribe, new species and new subspecies. Australasian Journal of Herpetology, 16, 53–63.

Iverson, J.B., Le, M. & Ingram, C. (2013) Molecular phylogenetics of the mud and musk turtle family Kinosternidae. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, published online ahead of print.

Kaiser, H., Crother, B.I., Kelley, C.M.R., Luiselli, L., O’Shea, M., Ota, H., Passos, P., Schleip, W.D. & Wüster, W. (2013) Best practices: in the 21st century, taxonomic decisions in herpetology are acceptable only when supported by a body of evidence and published via peer-review. Herpetological Review, 44, 8–23.

Kindler, C., Branch, W.R., Hofmeyr, M.D., Maran, J., Široký, P., Vences, M., Harvey, J., Hauswaldt, J.S., Schleicher, A., Stuckas, H. & Fritz, U. (2012) Molecular phylogeny of African hinge-back tortoises (Kinixys): implications for phylogeography and taxonomy (Testudines: Testudinidae). Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research, 50, 192–201.

Le, M., Reid, B.N., McCord, W.P., Naro-Maciel, E., Raxworthy, C.J., Amato, G. & Georges, A. (2013) Resolving the phylogenetic history of the short-necked turtles, genera Elseya and Myuchelys (Testudines: Chelidae) from Australia and New Guinea. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 68, 251–258.

Martin, B.T., Bernstein, N.P., Birkhead, R.D., Koukl, J.F., Mussmann, S.M. & Placyk, J.S. (2013) Sequence-based molecular phylogenetics and phylogeography of the American box turtles (Terrapene spp.) with support from DNA barcoding. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 68, 119–134.

McCranie, J.R., Köhler, F., Gutsche, A. & Valdés Orellana, L. (2013) Trachemys grayi emolli (Testudines, Emydidae) in Honduras and its systematic relationships based on mitochondrial DNA. Zoosystematics and Evolution, 89, 21–29.

Spinks, P.Q., Thomson, R.C., Pauly, G.B., Newman, C.E., Mount, G. & Shaffer, H.B. (2013) Misleading phylogenetic inferences based on single-exemplar sampling in the turtle genus Pseudemys. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 68, 269–281.

Stuckas, H., Gemel, R. & Fritz, U. (2013) One extinct turtle species less: Pelusios seychellensis is not extinct, it never existed. PLOS ONE, 8, e57116.

Vargas-Ramírez, M., Vences, M., Branch, W.R., Daniels, S.R., Glaw, F., Hofmeyr, M.D., Kuchling, G., Maran, J., Papenfuss, T.J., Široký, P., Vieites, D.R. & Fritz, U. (2010) Deep genealogical lineages in the widely distributed African helmeted terrapin: evidence from mitochondrial and nuclear DNA (Testudines: Pelomedusidae: Pelomedusa subrufa). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 56, 428–440.

Vargas-Ramírez, M., Carr, J.L. & Fritz, U. (2013) Complex phylogeography in Rhinoclemmys melanosterna: conflicting mitochondrial and nuclear evidence suggests past hybridization (Testudines: Geoemydidae). Zootaxa, 3670, 238–254.

White, A.W., Worthy, T.H., Hawkins, S., Bedford, S. & Spriggs, M. (2010) Megafaunal meiolaniid horned turtles survived until early human settlement in Vanuatu, Southwest Pacific. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 107, 15512–15516.

Wong, R.A., Fong, J.J. & Papenfuss, T.J. (2010) Phylogeography of the African helmeted terrapin, Pelomedusa subrufa: genetic structure, dispersal, and human introduction. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, 61, 575–585.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

ISSN 1175-5326 (Print Edition) & ISSN 1175-5334 (Online Edition)
Published by Magnolia Press, Auckland, New Zealand
A founding journal of Biotaxa