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Chelodina kurrichalpongo (JOSEPH-OUNI, MCCORD, CANN & SMALES, 2019)

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Higher TaxaChelidae, Chelodininae, Pleurodira, Testudines (turtles) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: DARWIN SNAKE-NECKED TURTLE 
SynonymMacrochelodina kurrichalpongo JOSEPH-OUNI, MCCORD, CANN & SMALES 2019 
DistributionAustralia (Northern Territory)

Type locality: McMinns Lagoon, Outer Darwin, Litchfield, Northern Territory, Australia  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype. MAGNT R17209 (Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory) (Plate 1) an adult female collected on 7-12-1991 (collection coordinate listed as latitude -12.517, longitude 131.083). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A member of the genus Macrochelodina, within the 'rugosa complex' as defined above, that is characterized by the following combination of features: A relatively low, evenly rising, oval to pear-shaped carapace, often tapering strongly at the anterior in the area of M1- M3; a dark brown to jet black carapace with a somewhat rugose to dimpled texture; no vertebral keel present instead often forming a shallow but wide concavity (trough) down the midline of the vertebral scutes from the posterior of V1 to the anterior of V5; a relatively deep shell; the marginals lack serration; M1 and M2 nearly equal in surface area; a dark brown to grayish-black head background color that varies from uniform to heavily besotted throughout with black dots and with black outlining of the head scales; a dark blood-red l f l S circumscribed with a black ring and containing a golden to whitish-yellow iris ring around the pupil; an upper and lower jaw often heavily marked with dull brown blotches and dark vermiculation (Plate 3). Several lighter color phases are documented, as noted below (Plate 3). 
CommentTemporarily kept under Chelodina until the status of Macrochelodina has been resolved (PP van Dijk, pers. comm., 6 April 2020).

Distribution: see map in Joseph-Ouni et al. 2019: 15 (Fig. 1) 
EtymologyThe species name references the Aboriginal Dreamtime creation mythology of the black rock-snake Kurrichalpongo, which laid eggs from which rainbow snakes hatched and carved out the rivers and the billabongs (Allan, Fleming & Kerrigan, 1999), made in triple allusion: One is to the long, black snake-like neck of this species, secondly to the multicolored hatchlings (color phases) it bears, and lastly to the carved out landscape of rivers and billabongs that it inhabits. 
References
  • Joseph-Ouni, M., WILLIAM P. MCCORD, JOHN CANN AND IAN SMALES 2019. A NEW SPECIES OF MACROCHELODINA (TESTUDINES: CHELIDAE) FROM THE NORTHERN TERRITORY, AUSTRALIA. The science journal of the Turtle and Tortoise Preservation Group 1: 5-20
 
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http://reptile-database.reptarium.cz/species?genus=Chelodina&species=kurrichalpongo

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