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Chelonoidis chilensis (GRAY, 1870)

IUCN Red List - Chelonoidis chilensis - Vulnerable, VU

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Higher TaxaTestudinidae, Testudinoidea, Testudines (turtles)
Common NamesE: Argentine tortoise
G: Argentinische Landschildkröte 
SynonymTestudo (Gopher) chilensis GRAY 1870
Testudo argentina SCLATER 1870 (nomen subst. pro T. chilensis GRAY)
Testudo (Chelonoidis) chilensis — WILLIAMS 1952
Testudo chilensis — WERMUTH & MERTENS 1961
Geochelone chilensis — PRITCHARD 1967
Geochelone petersi FREIBERG 1973
Geochelone donosobarrosi FREIBERG 1973
Testudo chilensis — KAHL et al. 1980: 109
Chelonoidis chilensis petersi — OBST 1985: 218
Chelonoidis chilensis — IVERSON 1986
Chelonoidis donosobarrosi — CEI 1986
Geochelone chilensis — ERNST & BARBOUR 1989
Chelonoidis chilensis — CEI 1993
Chelonoidis chilensis — VARELA & BUCHER 2002
Chelonoidis petersi — MCCORD & JOSEPH-OUNI 2004
Chelonoidis chilensis — MCCORD & JOSEPH-OUNI 2004
Chelonoidis chilensis — CARNOVALE 2005
Chelonoidis chilensis — LE et al. 2006
Chelonoidis petersi — BONIN et al 2006
Geochelone chilensis — WINCHELL 2010
Chelonoidis donosobarrosi — SCROCCHI et al. 2010: 53
Chelonoidis chilensis — TTWG 2014: 393
Chelonoidis chilensis — TTWG 2017: 124
Chelonoidis chilensis — TTWG 2021 
DistributionSW Bolivia, W Paraguay,
NW Argentina (Buenos Aires, Catamarca, Chaco, Córdoba, Formosa, Jujuy, La Pampa, La Rioja, Mendoza, Neuquén, Río Negro, Salta, San Juan, San Luis, Santa Fe, Santiago del Estero and Tucumán, Rio Negro, southward to about 40° S in N Patagonia)

Type locality: Mendoza, Argentina

donosobarrosi: Argentina (Río Negro); Type locality: San Antonio, Río Negro, Argentina.

petersi: Argentina (Santiago del Estero, La Rioja), Paraguay (S Chaco); Type locality: Kishka, La Banda, Santiago del Estero, Argentina.  
TypesSyntypes: BMNH 1947.3.5.8-9 (1947.3.5.8 and 1947.3.5.9 (both formerly BMNH
Holotype: USNM 192959 [Geochelone petersi]
Holotype: USNM 192961, paratype: MACN [Geochelone donosobarrosi] 
CommentDistribution: KAHL et al. 1980 stated that Geochelone chilensis occurs in Uruguay too. The original type locality mentioned “Chile” but the species does not occur in Chile.

Synonymy: after Van Dijk et al. 2012. WERMUTH & MERTENS (1977: 77) as well as FRITZ & HAVAS (2007: 269) listed Geochelone petersi as a synonym of Geochelone chilensis. 
  • ARFUSO, FRANCESCA; RAÚL D. CERUTTI, MARIA C. SCAGLIONE, ANTONIO SCIABARRASI, CLAUDIA GIANNETTO & GIUSEPPE PICCIONE. 2022. Evaluation of locomotor activity in female Chelonoidis chilensis (Testudinidae, Gray 1870) in response to artificial photoperiod and temperature treatments. Amphibia-Reptilia 43(3): 277–285. - 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.
  • BRIZIO, MARÍA VICTORIA; MARIA EMILIA RODRIGUEZ ARAUJO & LUCIANO JAVIER AVILA. 2021. Geographic distribution: CHELONOIDIS CHILENSIS (Argentine Tortoise). ARGENTINA: NEUQUÉN: Departamento Añelo. Herpetological Review 52 (3): 572–573. - get paper here
  • Buskirk, J.R. 1993. Distribution, Status and Biology of the Tortoise, Geochelone chilensis, in Rio-Negro Province, Argentina. Stud Neotrop Fauna Environ 28 (4): 233-249 - get paper here
  • BUTELER, CANDELA; M. CARLA LABAQUE & GERARDO C. LEYNAUD. 2022. Thermal biology of zoo-housed Chelonoidis chilensis: determining the activity pattern and estimating selected and critical maximum temperature. Herpetological Conservation and Biology 17(1): 111–121. - get paper here
  • Cacciali, Pier; Norman J. Scott, Aida Luz Aquino Ortíz, Lee A. Fitzgerald, and Paul Smith 2016. The Reptiles of Paraguay: Literature, Distribution, and an Annotated Taxonomic Checklist. SPECIAL PUBLICATION OF THE MUSEUM OF SOUTHWESTERN BIOLOGY, NUMBER 11: 1–373 - get paper here
  • Carnovale, A. 2005. Keeping and breeding the Argentine Tortoise Chelonoidis chilensis. Reptilia (GB) (38): 38-42 - get paper here
  • Cei, J.M. 1986. Reptiles del centro, centro-oeste y sur de la Argentina; herpetofauna de las zonas aridas y semiaridas. Mus. Regionale di Sci. Natur., Torino, Monogr. 4: 527 pp.
  • Ernst, Carl H 1998. Geochelone chilensis. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles 668: 1-5 - get paper here
  • Ernst,C.H. and Barbour,R.W. 1989. Turtles of the World. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C. - London
  • Gatica, Ailin; Ana C. Ochoa, Juan M. Pérez-Iglesias 2021. Abundance and activity of Chelonoidis chilensis (Gray, 1870) in the Chaco-Monte ecotone of central Argentina region. Herpetology Notes 14: 499-505
  • Gonzalez-Rivas, C J; Castillo, G N; Adarvez-Giovanini, S E & Simoncelli, I D. 2019. Chelonoidis chilensis (Chaco Tortoise) Endoparasites. Herpetological Review 50 (1): 119 - get paper here
  • Gray, J. E. 1870. Note on Testudo chilensis. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (4) 6: 428 - get paper here
  • Gray, J. E. 1870. Notice of a new Chilean tortoise (Testudo chilensis). Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (4) 6: 190 - get paper here
  • Gray, J. E. 1871. Note on Testudo chilensis. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (4) 8: 70 - get paper here
  • Gray,J.E. 1871. Reply to Dr. Sclater’s paper in the ‘Annals’ on Testudo chilensis &c. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (4) 7: 15-20 - get paper here
  • Kacoliris F.P.; Berkunsky I. & Williams J. 2006. Herpetofauna of Impenetrable, Argentinean Great Chaco. Phyllomedusa 5 (2): 149-158 - get paper here
  • Kahl B, Gaupp P & Schmidt G 1980. Das Terrarium. Falken Verlag, Niederhausen (Germany), 336 pp.
  • Knaack, J. 2006. Beobachtungen zum Vorkommen von Geochelone (Chelonoidis) im südlichen Bolivien. Reptilia (Münster) 11 (59): 77-82 - get paper here
  • Kubisch, Erika, Maria Eugenia Echave and Luis Alberto Echave. 2014. Chelonoidis chilensis (Chaco tortoise) predation. Herpetological Review 45 (4): 684-685 - get paper here
  • Le, Minh; Christopher J. Raxworthy, William P. McCord and Lisa Mertz 2006. A molecular phylogeny of tortoises (Testudines: Testudinidae) based on mitochondrial and nuclear genes. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 450 (2): 517-531 - get paper here
  • McAllister, Chris T., Lance A. Durden and Paul S. Freed. 2013. Chelonoidis chilensis (Argentine tortoise) ectoparasite. Herpetological Review 44 (2): 302 - get paper here
  • McCord, W.P. & Joseph-Ouni, M. 2004. Chelonian Illustrations #14: North and South American Tortoises. Reptilia (GB) (34): 47-50 - get paper here
  • PELEGRIN, N. & LEYNAUD, G. C. & BUCHER, E. H. 2006. Reptile fauna of the Chancaní Reserve (Arid Chaco, Argentina): species list and conservation status [Short Note]. Herpetozoa 19 (1/2): 85-86 - get paper here
  • Pérez-Iglesias, Juan Manuel; Jofré, Laura E.; Rueda, Marta Patricia 2017. Primeros registros de la herpetofauna en dos areas naturales protegidas de la provincia de Santiago del Estero (Argentina). Cuad. herpetol. 32 (1): 49-57 - get paper here
  • Philippi, R.A. 1871. [Letter on Testudo argentina]. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1871: 480 - get paper here
  • Richard, E. 1994. Espectro trófic de Chelonoidis chilensis (Chelonii: Testudinidae) en la provincia fitogeografica del Monte (Mendoza, Argentina). Cuadernos de Herpetología 8 (1): 131-140 - get paper here
  • Sanchez, Julieta, Leandro Alcalde, Alejandro Daniel Bolzan, Maria Rocio Sanchez and Maria de Valle Lazoz. 2014. Abundance of Chelonoidis chilensis (Gray, 1870) within protected and unprotected areas from the Dry Chaco and Monte Eco-regions (Argentina) (Reptilia: Testudines: Testudinidae). Herpetozoa 26 (3/4): 159-167 - get paper here
  • Sanchez, Julieta; Alcalde, Leandro; Bolzan, Alejandro D. 2015. First evidence of chromosomal variation within Chelonoidis chilensis (Testudines: Testudinidae). The Herpetological Journal 25 (2): 83-89 - get paper here
  • SÁNCHEZ, JULIETA; JUAN A. HOLLEY, SEBASTIÁN POLJAK, ALEJANDRO D. BOLZÁN, CLAUDIO M. BRAVI 2017. Phylogenetic and divergence time analysis of the Chelonoidis chilensis complex (Testudines: Testudinidae). Zootaxa 4320 (3): - get paper here
  • Sclater, P.L. 1870. Remarks on the animals lately described by Dr. Gray as Testudo chilensis and Ateles Bartlettii. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (4) 6: 470-473 - get paper here
  • Sclater, P.L. 1871. Reply to Dr. Gray on Testudo chilensis &c. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (4) 7: 161 - get paper here
  • Scrocchi, Gustavo J.; Cristian S. Abdala,Javier Nori, Hussam Zaher 2010. Reptiles de la provincia de Río Negro, Argentina. Fondo Ed. Rionegrino, 249 pp.
  • 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
  • TTWG; Anders G.J. Rhodin, John B. iverson, Roger Bour, Uwe Fritz, Arthur GeoRges, H. BRadley Shaffer, and Peter Paul van Dijk 2017. Turtles of the World: Annotated Checklist and Atlas of Taxonomy, Synonymy, Distribution, and Conservation Status (8th Ed.). In: Rhodin, A.G.J., Iverson, J.B., van Dijk, P.P., Saumure, R.A., Buhlmann, K.A., Pritchard, P.C.H., and Mittermeier, R.A. (Ed Chelonian Research Monographs 7:1–292. doi: 10.3854/crm.7.checklist.atlas.v8.2017 - get paper here
  • TTWG; Dijk, Peter Paul van; John B. Iverson, H. Bradley Shaffer; Roger Bour & Anders G.J. Rhodin [turtle taxonomy working group] 2012. Turtles of the World, 2012 Update: Annotated Checklist of Taxonomy, Synonymy, Distribution, and Conservation Status. Chelonian Research Monographs No. 5, doi:10.3854/crm.5.000.checklist.v5.2012 - get paper here
  • TTWG; Rhodin, A.G.J., Iverson, J.B., Bour, R., Fritz, U., Georges, A., Shaffer, H.B., and van Dijk, P.P. 2021. Turtles of the World: Annotated Checklist and Atlas of Taxonomy, Synonymy, Distribution, and Conservation Status (9th Ed.). In: Rhodin, A.G.J., Iverson, J.B., van Dijk, P.P., Stanford, C.B., Goode, E.V., Buhlmann, K.A., and Mittermeier, R.A. (Eds.). Chelonian Research Monographs 8:1–472. doi:10.3854/crm.8.checklist.atlas.v9.2021. - get paper here
  • Valverde, J. 2009. Südamerikanische Schildkröten. Reptilia (Münster) 14 (80): 16-27 - get paper here
  • Varela, Esperanza Amalia 1999. Tipos de la colección herpetológica del Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales “Bernardino Rivadavia”, Buenos Aires, Argentina. [type catalog] Iheringia, Sér. Zool., Porto Alegre (87): 57-74
  • Varela, R. O. & Bucher, E.H. 2002. Seed dispersal by Chelonoidis chilensis in the Chaco Dry Woodlands of Argentina. Journal of Herpetology 36 (1): 137-140 - get paper here
  • Vinke, S.; H. Vetter, T. Vinke, and S. Vetter 2008. South American Tortoises. Chelonoidis carbonaria, C. denticulata and C. chilensis. Chimaira. ISBN 9783899736038. 355 p.
  • Vinke, T. & Vinke, S. 2000. Biotopbeobachtungen an Geochelone chilensis (GRAY 1870) im Gran Chaco von Paraguay. Sauria 22 (2): 25-29 - get paper here
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  • Vlachos, E. and Rabi, M. 2018. Total evidence analysis and body size evolution of extant and extinct tortoises (Testudines: Cryptodira: Pan-Testudinidae). Cladistics 34: 652–683, doi:10.1111/cla.12227 - get paper here
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