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Chitra indica (GRAY, 1831)

IUCN Red List - Chitra indica - Endangered, EN

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Higher TaxaTrionychidae, Testudines (turtles) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Narrow-headed soft-shelled Turtle
G: Vorderindische Kurzkopf-Weichschildkröte 
SynonymTrionyx indicus GRAY 1831: 18
Testudo membranacea BLUMENBACH 1779 (nom. dub.)
Trionyx Aegyptiacus var. Indicus — GRAY 1831: 47 (part.)
Gymnopus lineatus DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1835: 491 (nom. subst. pro Tr. indicus GRAY)
Chitra indica — GRAY 1844: 49 (partim)
Gymnopus indicus — CANTOR 1847: 10 (part.)
Pelochelys cantorii GRAY 1864: 90 (part.)
Pelochelys cumingii GRAY 1864: 90 (part.)
Trionyx lineatus — MARTENS 1876: 196
Chitra Indica var. [sic] Cumingi — BOETTGER 1886: 93
Chitra indica — BOULENGER 1889
Pelochelys cantoris [sic] — BOULENGER 1889: 263 (part.)
Pelochelys bibronii — BOULENGER 1889: 263 (part.)
Pelochelys bibroni — SMITH 1931: 160
Pelochelys poljakowii — SMITH 1931: 160
Trionyx indica — TAYLOR 1970: 152
Chitra indica — MANTHEY & GROSSMANN 1997: 463
Chitra indica — MCCORD & JOSEPH-OUNI 2003 
DistributionIndia (Ganges, Godavari , Mahanadi, Sutlaj, Indus, Assam) Pakistan, Nepal,
Bangladesh.

Type locality: "India, fl. Ganges, Penang"; restricted by Smith (1931:162) to "Fatehgarh, Ganges," India = “India: Ganges; Futtaghur” (GRAY 1864: 92) 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.
 
TypesHolotype: specimen illustrated on Plate 80 in GRAY’s “Ill. Ind. Zool. (1831) 
CommentCOX et al. 1998 consider Chitra chitra as a valid species although it might be treated as subspecies of Chitra indica. ENGSTROM et al. (2002) suggest that the single species currently recognized in this genus (Chitra indica) actually represents three species. Synonymy mostly after MCCORD & PRITCHARD 2002.
Length: up to 115 cm (carapace)

DIAGNOSIS (DIAGNOSTIC CHARACTERS) according to MCCORD & PRITCHARD (2002):
(1) overall color: olive to deep olive-green; (2) very complex midline (vertebral) carapacial pattern; (3) midline (vertebral) carapacial stripe present; (4) complex radiating costal stripes; (5) paramedian neck stripes forming a bell-like pattern on anterior carapace absent; (6) neck stripes do not form a continuous light rim around carapace; (7) no distinct pair of neck stripes; (8) dark speckling on “light” (head and neck) stripes; (9) anterior neck “V” divergence point on neck; (10) 3-4 forelimb lamellae; (11) no peri-orbital X pattern; (12) no distinct peri-orbital ocelli; (13) no distinct naso-orbital triangular “figure”; (14) few, if any, black dots present on chin pattern.

Reproduction: oviparous.

Type species: Trionyx indicus GRAY 1831: 18 is the type species of the genus Chitra GRAY 1844: 49. 
References
  • Basumatary, Rajeev and D.K. Sharma 2013. The turtle fauna of Kaziranga National Park, Assam, India with notes on natural history and conservation status Herpetology Notes 6: 59-72 - get paper here
  • Baur, Markus; KaluRam Rai & Henk Zwartepoorte 2012. Ein neues Schildkrötenschutzprojekt im Südosten Nepals – das „Budoholi Turtle Conservation Centre“ Terraria Elaphe 2012 (2): 58-61 - 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.
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1889. Catalogue of the Chelonians, Rhynchocephalians, and Crocodiles in the British Museum (Natural History). British Museum, London, 311 pp.
  • Cantor. T. E. 1847. Catalogue of reptiles inhabiting the Malayan Peninsula and Islands. J Asiat. Soc., Bengal, Calcutta. 16 (2): 607 - 656, 897-952, 1026 - 1078 - 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.
  • Das, Dhritiman & Dr. P. K Saikia 2007. Present status of Soft Shell Turtles (Family: Trionychidae) in Barpeta and its surrounding areas, Barpeta, Assam. Reptile Rap (8): 3-4 - get paper here
  • Das, I. 2008. Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles of India. WWF/WII poster
  • Das, I. & Singh, S. 2009. Chitra indica (Gray 1830) – Narrow-Headed Softshell Turtle. Chelonian Research Monographs, No. 5: 1-7 - 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
  • 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
  • Ernst,C.H. and Barbour,R.W. 1989. Turtles of the World. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C. - London
  • 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]
  • Gray, J. E. 1831. Synopsis Reptilium or short descriptions of the species of reptiles. Part I: Cataphracta, tortoises, crocodiles, and enaliosaurians. Treuttel, Wurz & Co., London, 85 pp.
  • Gray, J. E. 1864. Revision of the species of Trionychidae found in Asia and Africa, with descriptions of some new species. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1864: 76-98 - get paper here
  • Gray, J.E. 1844. Catalogue of Tortoises, Crocodilians, and Amphisbaenians in the Collection of the British Museum. British Museum (Natural History), London. viii + 80 p.
  • Khan, M.S. 2006. Amphibians and reptiles of Pakistan. Krieger, Malabar, 311 pp.
  • Lenz, Norbert 2012. Von Schmetterlingen und Donnerdrachen - Natur und Kultur in Bhutan. Karslruher Naturhefte 4, Naturkundemuseum Karslruhe, 124 pp.
  • Manthey, U. & Grossmann, W. 1997. Amphibien & Reptilien Südostasiens. Natur und Tier Verlag (Münster), 512 pp. - get paper here
  • Martens, E. von 1876. Die Preussische Expedition nach Ostasien. Zoologischer Teil. Berlin: Decker Vol. 1: 412 pp.
  • 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
  • Murthy, T.S.N. 2010. The reptile fauna of India. B.R. Publishing, New Delhi, 332 pp.
  • Purkayastha, Jayaditya; Ahmed Mahmadul Hassan, Hasanul Islam, Jessica Das, Manoj Sarma, Mituseela Ba 2013. Turtles of the Temple Pond of Kamakhya, Assam, India Reptile Rap (15): 11-15 - get paper here
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Webb, R.G. 1980. Gray, Hardwicke, Buchanan-Hamilton, and drawings of Indian softshell turtles (Family Trionychidae). Amphibia-Reptilia 1: 61-74. - get paper here
  • Zug, G.R. & Mitchell, J.C. 1995. Amphibians and Reptiles of the Royal Chitwan National Park, Nepal. Asiatic Herpetological Research 6: 172-180 - get paper here
 
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