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Chelus fimbriata (SCHNEIDER, 1783)

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Higher TaxaChelidae, Chelinae, Pleurodira, Testudines (turtles) 
Common NamesE: Mata Mata
G: Matamata, Fransenschildkröte 
SynonymTestudo terrestris FERMIN 1765 (nomen oblitum, non T. terrestris Forskål 1775)
Testudo fimbriata SCHNEIDER 1783
Testudo torticollis FERREIRA 1784 (manuscript, see CERÍACO & BAUER 2017)
Testudo fimbria GMELIN 1789 (nomen subst. pro T. fimbriata SCHNEIDER)
Testudo matamata BRUGUIÈRE 1792
Testudo bi-spinosa DAUDIN 1802
Testudo rapara GRAY 1831 (nomen nudum)
Testudo fimbriata — CUVIER 1831: 17
Chelys Matamata — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1835: 455
Testudo raparara GRAY 1844 (nomen nudum)
Testudo raxarara GRAY 1855 (nomen nudum)
Chelys fimbriata — GÜNTHER 1882
Chelys fimbriata — BOULENGER 1889
Chelus fimbriatus — MERTENS 1934
Chelus fimbriata — IVERSON 1992
Chelus fimbriatus — GORZULA & SEÑARIS 1999
Chelus fimbriatus — RIVAS et al. 2012
Chelus fimbriata — TTWG 2014
Chelus fimbriatus — CERÍACO & BAUER 2017 
DistributionUSA (introduced to Florida)

N Bolivia, E Peru, Ecuador, E Colombia, Venezuela,
Guyana, French Guiana, Suriname, N/C Brazil (Amazonas, Pará), Trinidad

Type locality: Uprouague (Aprouague) and Remire Island, French Guiana.  
TypesHolotype: unlocated (IVERSON 1992) 
CommentType species: Testudo fimbriata SCHNEIDER 1783 is the type species of the genus Chelus DUMÉRIL 1806: 76 (fide WERMUT & MERTENS 1977: 124).

Habitat: freshwater (swamps) 
  • 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
  • Büttner, Enrico. 2014. Abnormally shaped eggs in clutches of the Matamata, Chelus fimbriata (Schneider, 1783), in my care. Radiata 23 (2): 30-34
  • CATENAZZI, A., LEHR, E. & VON MAY, R. 2013. The amphibians and reptiles of Manu National Park and its buffer zone, Amazon basin and eastern slopes of the Andes, Peru. Biota Neotrop. 13(4): 269-283
  • Ceríaco L.M.P. and Bauer A.M. 2017. "Testudo torticollis," an unpublished name for the Matamata, Chelus fimbriatus (Schneider, 1783) (Testudines: Chelidae), with comments on early illustrations of the species. Bibliotheca Herpetologica 13 (1-2): 35-49
  • Cisneros-Heredia, D.F. 2006. Turtles of the Tiputini Biodiversity Station with remarks on the diversity and distribution of the Testudines from Ecuador. Biota Neotrop. 6 (1): 1-16 - get paper here
  • Cole, Charles J.; Carol R. Townsend, Robert P. Reynolds, Ross D. MacCulloch, and Amy Lathrop 2013. Amphibians and reptiles of Guyana, South America: illustrated keys, annotated species accounts, and a biogeographic synopsis. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 125 (4): 317-578; plates: 580-620 - get paper here
  • Duellman, W. E. 1978. The biology of an equatorial herpetofauna in Amazonian Ecuador. Misc. Publ. Univ. Kans. Mus. Nat. Hist. 65: 1-352 - get paper here
  • Duméril, A.M.C., and G. Bibron. 1835. Erpétologie Générale ou Histoire Naturelle Complète des Reptiles, Vol. 2. Librairie Encyclopédique de Roret, Paris, iv + 680 p. - get paper here
  • 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
  • Gorzula, Stefan & Senaris, J. Celsa 1999. In: Contribution to the herpetofauna of the Venezuelan Guayana. I: a data base. Scientia Guaianae, Caracas, No. 8 [1998], 269+ pp.; ISBN 980-6020-48-0
  • Günther, Albert 1882. Observations on some rare Reptiles and a Batrachian now or lately living in the Society's Menagerie. Transactions of the Zoological Society of London 11 (7): 215-222, 5 plates (2 in color)
  • Gutsche, Alexander 2012. Die Fransenschildkröte oder Mata-Mata. Terraria-Elaphe 2012 (2): 76-77 - get paper here
  • Herz, M. 2014. Begegnungen mit Schildkröten im venezolanischen Bundesstaat Amazonas. Teil 1: Wasserschildkröten. Reptilia (Münster) 19 (110): 52-59
  • 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
  • Kabisch, K. 1997. Ein ungewöhnlich großer Knochenpanzer von Chelus fimbriatus. Sauria 19 (1): 45-46 - get paper here
  • Kemp, T.S. 2019. Reptiles: A Very Short Introduction Oxford University Press, 144 pp. - 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
  • Lemell, Patrick; Beisser, Christian Josef; Gumpenberger, Michaela; Snelderwaard, Peter; Gemel, Richard; Weisgram, Josef 2010. The feeding apparatus of Chelus fimbriatus (Pleurodira; Chelidae) - adaptation perfected?. Amphibia-Reptilia 31: 97-107 - get paper here
  • Mertens, R. 1969. Bemerkungen über einige Halswender-Schildkröten. Senckenbergiana biologica 50: 31-38
  • Morato, S.A.A.; Calixto, P.O.; Mendes, L.R.; Gomes, R.; Galatti, U.; Trein, F.L.; Oliveira, F.S.; Ferreira, G.N. 2014. Guia fotográfico de identificação da herpetofauna da Floresta Nacional de Saracá-Taquera, Estado do Pará. Curitiba: STCP Engenharia de Projetos Ltda.; Porto Trombetas: MRN – Mineração Rio do Norte S.A.; 213 p. - get paper here
  • RIVAS, GILSON A.; CÉSAR R. MOLINA, GABRIEL N. UGUETO, TITO R. BARROS, CÉSAR L. BAR- RIO-AMORÓS & PHILIPPE J. R. KOK 2012. Reptiles of Venezuela: an updated and commented checklist. Zootaxa 3211: 1–64 - get paper here
  • Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R.; Pritchard, Peter C. H.; Paolillo, Alfredo; Linares, Omar J. 1995. Geographic variation in the matamata turtle, Chelus fimbriatus, with observations on its shell morphology and morphometry. Chelonian Conserv. Biol. 1 (4): 293-300
  • Schaefer, I. 1986. Haltung und Nachzucht der Fransenschildkröte Chelus fimbriatus (SCHNEIDER 1783). Salamandra 22 (4): 229-241 - get paper here
  • Schmidt, A. A. 1966. Morphologische Unterschiede bei Chelus fimbriatus verschiedener Herkunft Salamandra 2 (3): 74-78 - get paper here
  • Schneider, J. G. 1783. Allgemeine Naturgeschichte der Schildkröten, nebst einem Systematischen Verseichnisse der einzelnen Arten. Müller, Leipzig. xlviii + 364 p.
  • Souza, Franco L. 2004. Uma revisão sobre padrões de atividade, reprodução e alimentação de cágados brasileiros (Testudines, Chelidae) [A review on activity patterns, reproduction, and feeding habits in Brazilian chelid turtles (Testudines, Chelidae)]. Phyllomedusa 3 (1): 15-28 - get paper here
  • Thomson, Robert C.; Andrew M. Shedlock, Scott V. Edwards and H. Bradley Shaffer 2008. Developing markers for multilocus phylogenetics in non-model organisms: A test case with turtles. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 49 (2): 514-525 - get paper here
  • Trutnau, L. 1987. Ein Beitrag zur Lebensgeschichte der Fransenschildkröte Chelus fimbriatus (SCHNEIDER 1783). Herpetofauna 9 (49): 6-10 - 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. 2009. Südamerikanische Schildkröten. Reptilia (Münster) 14 (80): 16-27 - get paper here
  • Valverde, J. 2010. Schlangenhalsschildkröten. Reptilia (Münster) 15 (85): 16-23 [erratum in 86: 10] - get paper here
  • Winkler, J.D. 2006. Testing phylogenetic implications of eggshell characters in side-necked turtles (Testudines: Pleurodira). Zoology 109: 127-136
  • Wood, R.C. 1976. Two new species of Chelus (Testudines: Pleurodira) from the late Tertiary of northern South America. Breviora (435): 1-26 - get paper here
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