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Chelodina novaeguineae BOULENGER, 1888

IUCN Red List - Chelodina novaeguineae - , LR

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Higher TaxaChelidae, Chelodininae, Testudines (turtles) 
Common NamesNew Guinea Snake-necked Turtle 
SynonymChelodina novae-guineae BOULENGER 1888
Chelodina novaeguineae — COGGER 2000: 191
Chelodina novaeguineae — GEORGES & THOMSON 2010
Chelodina (Chelodina) novaeguineae — TTWG 2014 
DistributionS Papua New Guinea

Type locality: Mawatta, Binaturi River (as Katow), Papua New Guinea Map legend:
TDWG region - Region according to the TDWG standard, not a precise distribution map.

NOTE: TDWG regions are generated automatically from the text in the distribution field and not in every cases it works well. We are working on it.
TypesSyntypes: MCG C. E. 8407, BMNH 1946.1.22.36 
CommentSynonymy: Chelodina gunaleni MCCORD & JOSEPH-OUNION 2007 has been synonymized with Chelodina novaeguineae by GOERGES & THOMSON 2010 but is considered as a valid species (again) now.

Illustrations: Schmida (2000). The photo in VALVERDE (2010: 22 bottom left) is most likely not this species, as indicated, but probably Geoclemys hamiltoni.

See Wells (2007) for a redescription of C. rankini.

Diagnosis (rankini): I herein designate as Holotype BMNH 1908.2.25.1. The Type Locality is Lower Burdekin River, Queensland. Chelodina rankini can be readily separated from its close relatives Chelodina canni and Chelodina novaeguineae by the following combination of characters: From Chelodina novaeguineae, both C. rankini and C. canni differ in that the snout is blunt and not protruding or beak-like as in Chelodina novaeguineae. Additionally, both species have a much less sculptured carapace when compared with that of C. novaeguineae. Chelodina rankini can be distinguished from Chelodina canni by differences in carapace size, shape and structure, as well as in neck morphology, colouration and patterning, and larger maximum size. The carapace shape is more rounded in Chelodina canni, whereas in Chelodina rankini the carapace is somewhat more ovate in shape with the rear marginals distinctly flaring outwards. Further, the carapace of Chelodina rankini is slightly more sculptured with more regular radiations (particularly in immature specimens) than the carapace of Chelodina canni - which tends to be smoother or is at least far less regularly sculptured. The neck of Chelodina rankini also has numerous flat wart-like protuberances present, whereas in Chelodina canni these warty structures are interspersed with larger conical tubercles. In juvenile colouration and pattern there are also notable differences between the different ‘populations’ currently referred to as Chelodina canni by McCord and Thomson. Juveniles of the Gulf drainage specimens (Chelodina canni sensu stricto) (such as from the Roper River, NT) have a black carapace with paler spotting along the edges, a bright red and black-mottled plastron, and are distinctively bright red on the inside of limbs, as well as on the edges of the jaw and under the throat. Juveniles of Chelodina rankini (i.e. those so-called Chelodina canni from the eastern drainages of north-east Queensland - for example from the Burdekin River) have a yellowish plastron with black mottling, and a darker greyish carapace. Additionally, there are also apparent size differences within the ’species’. Chelodina rankini reaches a maximum carapace length of about 260 mm., and those from the Gulf drainage - Chelodina canni - are much smaller turtles at a maximum size of only around 200 mm. 
  • Bonin, F., Devaux, B. & Dupré, A. 2006. Turtles of the World. English translation by P.C.H. Pritchard. Johns Hopkins University Press, 416 pp.
  • Boulenger,G.A. 1888. On the chelydoid chelonians of New Guinea. Ann. Mus. Civ. Stor. Nat. Genova (2a) 6: 449-452 - get paper here
  • Cann, J. 1972. Notes on some tortoises collected in Northern Australia. Victorian Naturalist 89: 165-168
  • Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • Ernst,C.H. and Barbour,R.W. 1989. Turtles of the World. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C. - London
  • Gaffney, Eugene S. 1977. The side-necked turtle family Chelidae: a theory of relationships using shared derived characters. American Museum Novitates (2620): 1-28 - get paper here
  • Georges, A. & Thomson, S. 2010. Diversity of Australasian freshwater turtles, with an annotated synonymy and keys to species. Zootaxa 2496: 1–37 - get paper here
  • Georges, Arthur, Carla Eisemberg, Yolarnie Amepou and Eric Manasi. 2014. Turtle conservation challenges in papua New Guinea. Turtle Survival 2014: 22-24 - get paper here
  • Iverson, John B., Scott A. Thomson and Arthur Georges 2001. Validity of taxonomic changes for turtles proposed by Wells and Wellington. Journal of Herpetology 35 (3): 361-368 - get paper here
  • Kennett, R.M., Georges, A., Thomas, K. and Georges, T.C. 1992. Distribution of the long-necked freshwater turtle Chelodina novaeguineae and information on its ecology. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 32(1):179-182
  • McCord, W. P. & S. A. Thomson 2002. A new species of Chelodina (Testudines: Pleurodira: Chelidae) from Northern Australia. Journal of Herpetology 36 (2): 255-267. - get paper here
  • McCord, W. P., and M. Joseph-Ouni. 2007. A New Species of Chelodina (Testudines: Chelidae) from southwestern New Guinea (Papua, Indonesia). Reptilia (GB) (52): 47-52. - get paper here
  • McCord, W.P. & Joseph-Ouni, M. 2004. Chelonian Illustrations #12: Snake-necked and monotypic side-necked turtles of Indo-Australasia. Reptilia (GB) (32): 66-69 - get paper here
  • Schmida, G. 2000. Exkursionen bei Mackay und Proserpine. DATZ 53 (9): 8-12
  • Thieme, Ulrich 1998. Two easy-to-keep snakeneck turtles: Chelodina longicollis and Chelodina novaeguineae. Reptilia (GB) (5): 52-56 - get paper here
  • 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. 2010. Schlangenhalsschildkröten. Reptilia (Münster) 15 (85): 16-23 [erratum in 86: 10] - get paper here
  • Wells, R. W. 2007. Some taxonomic and nomenclatural considerations on the class Reptilia in Australia. Notes on the recently described freshwater turtle Chelodina canni McCord and Thomson, 2002, and a redescription of Chelodina rankini Wells and Wellington, 1985. Australian Biodiversity Record (1): 1–5 - get paper here
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