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Apalone ferox (SCHNEIDER, 1783)

IUCN Red List - Apalone ferox - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaTrionychidae (Trionychinae), Trionychoidea, Testudines (turtles) 
Common NamesE: Florida Softshell Turtle
G: Florida-Weichschildkröte 
SynonymTestudo ferox SCHNEIDER 1783: 330
Testudo mollis LACÉPÈDE 1788
Testudo ferox verrucosa SCHOEPFF 1795
Testudo bartrami DAUDIN 1802 (nomen subst. pro T. ferox verrucosa)
Trionyx carinatus GEOFFROY 1809
Trionyx georgianus GEOFFROY 1809 (nomen subst. pro T. ferox SCHNEIDER)
Trionyx georgicus GEOFFROY 1809 (nomen subst. pro T. ferox SCHNEIDER)
Trionyx ferox — SCHWEIGGER 1812
Trionyx brogniarti SCHWEIGGER 1812
Aspidonectes ferox — WAGLER 1830
Aspidonectes carinatus — WAGLER 1830
Testudo ferox — CUVIER 1831: 19
Trionyx harlani BELL 1835 (in HARLAN)
Platypeltis ferox — FITZINGER 1843
Platypeltis brogniarti — FITZINGER 1843
Platypeltis ferox — LOENNBERG 1894
Amyda ferox — ALLEN 1932
Trionyx ferox — WEBB 1973
Apalone ferox — MEYLAN 1987
Trionyx ferox — ALDERTON 1988
Apalone ferox — ERNST & BARBOUR 1989
Apalone ferox — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 82
Apalone ferox — CROTHER 2000
Trionyx ferox — HALLMEN 2005
Apalone ferox — TTWG 2014 
DistributionUSA (SW South Carolina, S Georgia, Florida, S Alabama)

Type locality: Savannah River (at Savannah), Georgia  
Reproductionoviparous. Apalone ferox and A. spinifera hybridize (LOVE 2009). 
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1947.3.6.17 (formerly 53A) 
CommentType species: Testudo ferox is the type species of Platypeltis FITZINGER.

Distribution: records from Louisiana may be introductions (Selman et al. 2016).

Habitat: freshwater (rivers and tributaries, lakes) 
  • Akeret, B. 2009. Unter und über Wasser durch die Karstgewässer Floridas. Draco 10 (37): 24-29 - get paper here
  • Alderton, D. 1988. Turtles and tortoises of the world. Facts on File, New York.
  • Allen, Morrow J. 1932. A survey of the Amphibians and reptiles of Harrison County, Mississippi. American Museum Novitates (542): 1-20 - get paper here
  • Aresco, Matthew J.; Joseph Travis, and Pamela S. D. MacRae 2015. Trophic Interactions of Turtles in a North Florida Lake Food Web: Prevalence of Omnivory. Copeia 2015 (2): 343-356. - get paper here
  • Barone, ; S. 2005. Die Florida-Weichschildkröte (Apalone ferox). Reptilia (Münster) 10 (55): 68-72 - get paper here
  • Barone, S. 2005. Apalone ferox - The florida Softshell. Reptilia (GB) (39): 47-50 - get paper here
  • Böhme, W. 2005. Der “Savannah River Ecology Site” und seine herpetologischen Highlights. Herpetofauna 25 (142): 13-21 - get paper here
  • Bonin, F., Devaux, B. & Dupré, A. 2006. Turtles of the World. English translation by P.C.H. Pritchard. Johns Hopkins University Press, 416 pp.
  • Bour, R. 2008. Global diversity of turtles (Chelonii; Reptilia) in freshwater. Hydrobiologia 595:593–598
  • Conant,R. & Collins,J.T. 1991. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern/Central North America, 3rd ed. Houghton Mifflin (Boston/New York), xx + 450 p.
  • Crother, B. I. (ed.) 2012. Standard Common and Current Scientific Names for North American Amphibians, Turtles, Reptiles, and Crocodilians, Seventh Edition. Herpetological Circular 39: 1-92
  • Cuvier, G. 1831. The Animal Kingdom arranged in conformity with its organization, by the Baron Cuvier, ... with additional descriptions of all the species hitherto named, and of many not before noticed, by Edward Griffith... and others. Vol. 9. Whittaker, Treacher and Co., London, 481 pp. - get paper here
  • Donini, J 2018. Apalone ferox (Florida Softshell Turtle) Deformity/Healed Injury Herpetological Review 49 (2): 314-315 - get paper here
  • Ernst, Carl H.; Lovich, Jeffrey E. 2009. Turtles of the United States and Canada, 2nd edition. Johns Hopkins University Press, 827 pp. - get paper here
  • Ernst,C.H. and Barbour,R.W. 1989. Turtles of the World. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C. - London
  • Flaherty, James P. and Josh Friers. 2013. Apalone ferox (Florida softshell) diet. Herpetological Review 44 (3): 500
  • Hallmen, M. 2005. Farb- und Zeichnungszuchten in der Terraristik. Reptilia (Münster) 10 (55): 16-22 - get paper here
  • Hallmen, M. 2006. Selective Breeding for color and pattern. Reptilia (GB) (44): 12-18 - get paper here
  • Heaton, A.J. & Moreno, N.A. 2017. Geographic Distribution: Apalone ferox (Florida Softshell). Herpetological Review 48 (4): 808-809
  • Hennig, A. S. 2015. Immer wieder gelbe Streifen …<br />Hinweise zur Bestimmung häufig gehaltener Wasserschildkrötenarten Reptilia (Münster) 20 (116): 26-31 - get paper here
  • Holt, Brian D. and Ashton Den Dekker. 2016. Geographic Distribution: Apalone ferox (Florida Softshell). Herpetological Review 47 (1): 79
  • Jensen, John B.; Carlos D. Camp, Whit Gibbons, & Matt J. Elliott 2008. Amphibians and reptiles of Georgia. University of Georgia Press, 575 pp.
  • Joyce, Walter G.; James F. Parham , Tyler R. Lyson , Rachel C. M. Warnock and Philip C. J. Donoghue 2013. A Divergence Dating Analysis of Turtles Using Fossil Calibrations: An Example of Best Practices. Journal of Paleontology, 87(4):612-634 - get paper here
  • Krysko, K.K.; Enge, K.M.; Donlan, E.M.; Golden, E.Z.; Burgess, J.P. & Larson, K.W. 2009. THE NON-MARINE HERPETOFAUNA OF KEY BISCAYNE, FLORIDA. Herp. Cons. Biol. 5 (1):132-142 - get paper here
  • Li, H., Liu, J., Xiong, L., Zhang, H., Zhou, H., Yin, H., Jing, W., Li, J., Shi, Q., Wang, Y., Liu, J. and Nie, L. 2017. Phylogenetic relationships and divergence dates of softshell turtles (Testudines: Trionychidae) inferred from complete mitochondrial genomes. J. Evol. Biol., doi:10.1111/jeb.13070 - get paper here
  • Lönnberg, Einar 1894. Notes on reptiles and batrachians collected in Florida in 1892 and 1893. Proc. US Natl. Mus. 17 (1003): 317-339 - get paper here
  • Lourenço, João M.; Julien Claude, Nicolas Galtier, Ylenia Chiari 2011. Dating cryptodiran nodes: Origin and diversification of the turtle superfamily Testudinoidea. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 62 (1): - get paper here
  • Love, B. 2009. Die „Krise“ der Florida-Weichschildkröte. Reptilia (Münster) 14 (75): 14-15 - get paper here
  • McCord, W.P. & Joseph-Ouni, M. 2005. Chelonian Illustrations #19: American softshell turtles. Reptilia (GB) (38): 78-81 - get paper here
  • Meylan, P.A. 1987. The phylogenetic relationships of soft-shelled turtles (Family Trionychidae). Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 186 (1):1-101.
  • Mitchell, Joseph C. and Gerald R. Johnston. 2014. Apalone ferox (Florida softshell) tolerance to fire ants. Herpetological Review 45 (2): 308-309
  • Munscher, Eric C., Nicole Salvatico, Brian Hauge and Iren Gaz. 2016. Geographic Distribution: Apalone ferox (Florida Softshell). Herpetological Review 47 (2): 251
  • Munscher, Eric C.; Andrew D. Walde, J. Daren Riedle, Emily H. Kuhns, Andrew S. Weber, and J. Brian Hauge 2015. Population Structure of the Florida Softshell Turtle, Apalone ferox, in a Protected Ecosystem, Wekiwa Springs State Park, Florida. Chelonian Conservation and Biology 14 (1): 34-42.
  • Munscher, Eric; Andrew D. Walde, Elizabeth M. Walton, Nicole Salvatico, Brian P. Butterfield, Wayne Osborne, Collin McAvinchey, J. Brian Hauge 2017. Turtle survey of Weeki Wachee Springs State Park reveals more than mermaid Herpetology Notes 10: 601-609 - get paper here
  • Schneider, J. G. 1783. Allgemeine Naturgeschichte der Schildkröten, nebst einem Systematischen Verseichnisse der einzelnen Arten. Müller, Leipzig. xlviii + 364 p.
  • Selman, W., R. M. Elsey, J. boundy and B. Kreiser 2016. Geographic Distribution: Apalone ferox (Florida Softshell). Herpetological Review 47(3): 421.
  • Stevenson, Dirk J.;Platt, Brian J. 1999. Geographic distribution. Apalone ferox. Herpetological Review 30 (1): 51 - get paper here
  • Taylor, M. and R. W. Mendyk 2017. Apalone ferox (Florida Softshell Turtle) Kyphosis. Herpetological Review 48 (2): 418-419
  • Thomas, Travis M., Eric Suarez and Kevin M. Enge. 2015. New county records of reptiles from the Suwannee River, Florida, USA. Herpetological Review 46 (4): 608
  • TTWG [Peter Paul van Dijk, John B. Iverson, Anders G.J. Rhodin, H. Bradley Shaffer, and Roger Bour] 2014. Turtles of the World, 7th Edition: Annotated Checklist of Taxonomy, Synonymy, Distribution with Maps, and Conservation Status. 000.v7. Chelonian Research Monographs (ISSN 1088-7105) No. 5, doi:10.3854/crm.5.000.checklist.v7.2014 - get paper here
  • Valverde, J. 2007. Apalone ferox, die Florida-Weichschildkröte. Reptilia (Münster) 12 (68): 24-28 - get paper here
  • Valverde, J. 2007. Weichschildkröten. Reptilia (Münster) 12 (68): 16-23 - get paper here
  • Wagler, Jean G. 1830. Natürliches System der Amphibien, mit vorangehender Classification der Säugetiere und Vögel. Ein Beitrag zur vergleichenden Zoologie. 1.0. Cotta, München, Stuttgart, and Tübingen, 354 pp.
  • Webb R G 1990. Trionyx Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire. Softshell turtles. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles 487: 1-7 - get paper here
  • Webb, R.G. 1962. North American Recent soft-shelled turtles (Family Trionychidae). Univ. Kansas Publ. Mus. Nat. Hist. 13 (10): 429-611 - get paper here
  • Webb, Robert G. 1973. Trionyx ferox. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles (138): 1-3 - get paper here
  • Weisrock,D.W. & Janzen,F.J. 2000. Comparative molecular phylogeography of North American Softshell Turtles (Apalone): implication for regional and wide-scale historical evolutionary forces. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 14 (1): 152-164 - get paper here
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