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Chitra chitra NUTAPHAND, 1986

IUCN Red List - Chitra chitra - Critically Endangered, CR

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Higher TaxaTrionychidae (Trionychinae), Trionychoidea, Testudines (turtles)
SubspeciesChitra chitra javanensis MCCORD & PRITCHARD 2003
Chitra chitra chitra NUTAPHAND 1986 
Common NamesE: Nutaphand's Narrowhead Softshell
javanensis: Java Narrow-headed Softshell Turtle
G: Kurzkopf-Weichschildkröte 
SynonymTestudo chitra HAMILTON 1831 in GRAY (nomen nudum)
Chitra selenkae JAEKEL 1911 (nomen suppressum)
Chitra chitra — COX et al. 1998: 136
Chitra chitra — TTWG 2012: 286
Chitra chitra — TTWG 2021

Chitra chitra chitra NUTAPHAND 1986
Trionyx indicus — GRAY 1831: 47 (part.)
Testudo chitra — GRAY 1831: 47 (part.)
Testudo membranacea — GRAY 1831: 47 (part.)
Trionyx Aegyptiacus var. Indicus — GRAY 1831: 47 (part.)
Chitra indica — GRAY 1844: 49 (part.)
Gymnopus indicus — CANTOR 1847: 10 (part.)
Pelochelys cantorii GRAY 1864: 90 (part.)
Pelochelys cumingii GRAY 1864: 90 (part.)
Chitra Indica var. [sic] Cumingi — BOETTGER 1886: 93
Pelochelys cantoris [sic] — BOULENGER 1889: 263 (part.)
Pelochelys bibronii — BOULENGER 1889: 263 (part.)
Pelochelys bibroni — SMITH 1931: 160 (part.)
Pelochelys poljakowii — SMITH 1931: 160 (part.)
Trionyx indica — TAYLOR 1970: 152 (part.)
Chitra chitra chitra — NUTAPHAND 1986: 64
Chitra chitra chitra — MCCORD & PRITCHARD 2002
Chitra chitra chitra — MCCORD & JOSEPH-OUNI 2003
Chitra chitra chitra — TTWG 2012: 286
Chitra chitra chitra — TTWG 2021

Chitra chitra javanensis MCCORD & PRITCHARD 2003
Chitra indica — MÜLLER 1923: 54
Pelochelys bibroni — SMITH 1931: 160 (part.)
Pelochelys poljakowii — SMITH 1931: 160 (part.)
Pelochelys cantorii — SMITH 1931: 160 (part.)
Pelochelys cumingii — SMITH 1931: 160 (part.)
Chitra chitra — ISKANDAR 2000: 82
Chitra chitra javanica — ISKANDAR & MUMPUNI 2002: 132
Chitra chitra javanensis — MCCORD & JOSEPH-OUNI 2003
Chitra chitra javanensis — TTWG 2012: 286
Chitra chitra javanensis — TTWG 2021 
Distributionchitra: Thailand (NW as far as the Khwae Noi and Khwae Yai River basins of the Mae Klong River system; NE in the Mae Ping River basin of the Chao Phraya River system).
Malaysia (E and S drainages of peninsular Malaysia as far as the Johore River basin).

Type locality: not designated by Nutaphand, but he did give three rivers, with Province where C. chitra was to be found. MCCORD & PRITCHARD 2003 designated Kanburi (presently Kanchanaburi), where the Khwae Noi and the Khwae Yai rivers join to form the Mae Klong River in Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand, as the type locality.

javanensis: Sumatra (NE drainages), Java (Pasuruan and Solo River basins of E and C Java). Type locality: tidal creek of the Pasuruan River, near Pasuruan, East Java, Indonesia. Corrected to “Bengawan (= river) Solo, between Kalitidu and
Padangan, Bojonegoro District, East Java” (ISKANDAR 2004).

Chitra chitra: W Thailand (Mae Klong river system; fide COX et al. 1998);  
TypesHolotype: nondesignated in original description; MCCORD & PRITCHARD 2003 designated the specimen illustrated on page 65 of Nutaphand’s 1986 original description as the holotype.
Holotype: MZB 199, a 57.0 cm (CL), dried specimen, captured July 1997 by local turtle hunters. Donated by F. Yuwono [javanensis] 
CommentCOX et al. 1998 consider Chitra chitra as a valid species although it might be treated as subspecies of Chitra indica. This is one of the most endangered turtle species according to a 2003 assessment by the IUCN.

W. McCord & P. Pritchard proposed precedence of the specific name Chitra chitra Nutaphand, 1986 over that of Chitra selenkae Jaekel, 1911 (CASE 3277, Bull. Zool. Nomen. 60 (3) [2003]).

Synonymy mostly after MCCORD & PRITCHARD 2002.

Habitat: freshwater (rivers and tributaries) 
EtymologyNamed after chitraka (Sanskrit) = having a speckled body; a reference to the spotted carapace (Gotch 1986) 
  • 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. 1889. Catalogue of the chelonians, rhynchocephalians, and crocodiles in the British Museum (Natural History). British Museum, London, 311 pp.
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  • Chan-ard, T., Parr, J.W.K. & Nabhitabhata, J. 2015. A field guide to the reptiles of Thailand. Oxford University Press, NY, 352 pp. [see book reviews by Pauwels & Grismer 2015 and Hikida 2015 for corrections] - get paper here
  • Cox, Merel J.; Van Dijk, Peter Paul; Jarujin Nabhitabhata & Thirakhupt,Kumthorn 1998. A Photographic Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. Ralph Curtis Publishing, 144 pp.
  • Engstrom, Tag N., H. Bradley Shaffer, and William P. McCord. 2002. Phylogenetic Diversity of Endangered and Critically Endangered Southeast Asian Softshell Turtles (Trionychidae: Chitra). Biological Conservation 104 (2):173-179 - get paper here
  • Gotch, A. F. 1986. Reptiles - Their Latin Names Explained. Blndford Press, 176 pp.
  • Gray, J. E. 1831. A synopsis of the species of Class Reptilia. In: Griffith, E & E. Pidgeon: The animal kingdom arranged in conformity with its organisation by the Baron Cuvier with additional descriptions of all the species hither named, and of many before noticed [V Whittaker, Treacher and Co., London: 481 + 110 pp. [1830] - get paper here
  • ICZN 2005. OPINION 2119 (Case 3277). Chitra chitra Nutaphand, 1986 (Reptilia, Testudines): specific name given precedence over Chitra selenkae Jaekel, 1911. Bull. Zool. Nomenclature 62 (2) - get paper here
  • Iskandar D. 2000. Turtles and crocodiles of insular south-east Asia & New Guinea. IUCN, 191 pp.
  • Iskandar, D.T. 2004. On the giant Javanese softshelled turtles (Trionychidae). Hamadryad 28 (1&2): 128-130 - get paper here
  • Iskandar, Djoko T. and Mumpuni 2002. The herpetological type specimens in the Museum Zoologicum Bogoriense Collection. Hamadryad 27 (1):123-135 - get paper here
  • Kitimasak, W., and Thirakhupt, K. 2002. New record of Chitra chitra Nutphand, 1986 in Mae Ping River, Thailand. Natural History Journal of Chulalongkorn University 2 (1):62-63. - get paper here
  • Kundu, Shantanu; Vikas Kumar, Boni Amin Laskar, Kailash Chandra, Kaomud Tyagi 2016. Mitochondrial DNA effectively detects non-native Testudines: Invisible wildlife trade in northeast India. Gene Reports, doi:10.1016/j.genrep.2016.02.002 - get paper here
  • McCord, W.P. & Joseph-Ouni, M. 2003. Chelonian Illustrations #6. Flapshell and Giant Asian Softshell Turtles. Reptilia (GB) (26): 59-64 - get paper here
  • McCord, William P. and Peter C. H. Pritchard 2003. A review of the softshell turtles of the genus Chitra, with the description of new taxa from Myanmar and Indonesia (Java). Hamadryad 27 (1):11-56 [2002] - get paper here
  • Mohd Salleh, M.H.; Esa, Y.; Salleh, S.M.; Mohd Sah, S.A. 2022. Turtles in Malaysia: A Review of Conservation Status and a Call for Research. Animals 12, 2184 - get paper here
  • Müller, L. 1923. Neue oder seltene Reptilien und Batrachier der Zoologischen Sammlung des bayr. Staates. Zool. Anz. 57 (3-4): 49-61 - get paper here
  • Nutaphand, W. 1986. [Manlai. the world’s biggest softshell turtle. [in Thai]. Thai zool. Mag. 1 (4): 64-70
  • Smith, Malcolm A. 1931. The Fauna of British India Including Ceylon and Burma. Reptilia and Amphibia Volume I.—Loricata, Testudines. Taylor and Francis, London, 185 pp. - get paper here
  • Taylor, E.H. 1970. Turtles and crocodilians of Thailand and adjacent waters, with a synoptic herpetological bibliography. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 49: 87-179. - get paper here
  • TEYNIÉ, ALEXANDRE; PATRICK DAVID, & ANNEMARIE OHLER 2010. Note on a collection of Amphibians and Reptiles from Western Sumatra (Indonesia), with the description of a new species of the genus Bufo. Zootaxa 2416: 1–43 - 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
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