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Crocodylus moreletii (DUMÉRIL & BIBRON, 1851)

IUCN Red List - Crocodylus moreletii - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaCrocodylidae (Crocodylia, crocodiles) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Morelet’s Crocodile
G: Beulenkrokodil 
SynonymCrocodilus Moreletii DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1851
Crocodilus mexicanus BOCOURT 1869
Alligator lacordairei PREUDHOMME DE BORRE 1869 (fide GÜNTHER 1885)
Crocodylus americanus var. moreletii — GÜNTHER 1885: 21
Crocodylus moreletii — KING & BURKE 1989
Crocodylus moreletii — NAVARRO SERMENT 2004
Crocodylus moreletii — MATA-SILVA et al. 2015 
DistributionBelize, Guatamala, Mexico (Hidalgo, Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosí, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatan, Quintana Roo)

Type locality: "Lac Flores (Yucatan)," Guatemala; restricted by Smith and Taylor (1950: 211), and Smith and Taylor (1950: 318) to "Guatemala, El Peten, Laguna de Peten". 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.
 
Reproductionoviparous. 
TypesSyntypes: MNHN 7520 (collected by P.M.A. Morelet and figured by Duméril 1852) and a younger specimen in the MHND without known number. 
CommentDuméril (1852:254) stated that Morelet collected two specimens at Lac Flores, that the description of C. moreletii was based on both specimens, an adult specimen stuffed and on exhibit in Paris and a younger specimen sent to the MHND after examination in Paris. Interestingly, Morelet (1871:203ff), mentioned sending only one specimen to Paris, where it was stuffed and put on exhibit. Stuart (1963: 133), listed MNHN 7520 as type, and incorrectly attributed C. moreletii to Duméril and Bocourt 1851. Barbour & Ramsden (1919: 209) incorrectly indicated the type material of C. moreletii was collected in Cuba and shipped to Paris from Central America (after KING & BURKE 1989).

Distribution: Not found in Honduras or further south (KING & BURKE 1989).

Phylogeny: This and other New World crocodiles are closely related to African C. niloticus, indicating a recent (Miocine or Pliocene) cross-Atlantic dispersal (MEREDITH et la. 2011).

Hybridization: Rodriguez (2007) presented genetic evidence for hybridization between Crocodylus acutus and C. moreletii. 
EtymologyNamed after Pierre Arthur Morelet (1809-1892), French naturalist. 
References
  • Abercrombie, C.L.;Hope, C.A.;Holmes, J.M.;Scott, D.;Lane, J.E. 1982. Investigations into the status of Morelet's crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) in Belize, 1980. Crocodiles. Proceedings of the 5th Working Meeting of the Crocodile Specialist Group, IUCN - The World Conservation Union, Gland, Switzerland. ISBN 2-8032-209-X. 409 pp.
  • Andreu, Gustavo Casas;Barrios-Quiroz, Gabriel 1997. Nuevos aportes a la anidación (1990-1993) de Crocodylus moreletii en cautiverio en Tabasco, México. Reunión Regional Del Grupo De Especialistas En Cocodrilos de América Latina Y El Caribe : 21-25
  • Barao-Nobrega, Josè Antònio L., Samuel Puls, Caroline Acton and Kathy Slater. 2016. Crocodylus moreletii (Morelet's Crocodile) Movement. Herpetological Review 47 (2): 290-291
  • Barao-Nobrega, Josè Antònio L., Silvia S. Villalobos, Erin Cubitt, Fernando Garcia-Gil and Kathy Slater. 2016. Crocodylus moreletii (Morelet's Crocodile) Diet and feeding behavior. Herpetological Review 47 (2): 291-292
  • Barbour, T. and C. T. Ramsden. 1919. The herpetology of Cuba. Mem. Mus. Comp. Zool., Harvard Coll. 47: 69-213. - get paper here
  • Casas-Andreu, G., F.R. Méndez-De la Cruz and X. Aguilar-Miguel. 2004. Anfibios y Reptiles; pp. 375–390, in A.J.M. García-Mendoza, J. Ordoñez and M. Briones-Salas (ed.). Biodiversidad de Oaxaca. Instituto de Biología, UNAM-Fondo Oaxaqueño para la Conservación de la Naturaleza-World Wildlife Fund, México, D. F.
  • Cedeño-Vázquez, J. Rogelio, Fernando González-Ávila and Mauricio González-Jáuregui. 2016. Crocodylus moreletii. Cannibalism. Mesoamerican Herpetology 3 (2): 470-472 - get paper here
  • Cedeno-Vazquez, J. Rogelio, Fernando González-Ávila, Raymundo Mineros-Ramírez and Asela Marisol Buenfil-Rojas. 2014. Crocodylus moreletii (Morelet's crocodile) diet. Herpetological Review 45 (2): 322
  • Cedeño-Vázquez, J. Rogelio, J. Perran Ross and Sophie Calme 2006. Population status and distribution of Crocodylus acutus and C. moreletii in southeastern Quintana Roo, México. Herpetological Natural History 10 (1): 17-30.
  • Cedeño-Vázquez, J. Rogelio, Sergio A. Terán Juárez and Steven G. Platt. 2016. Crocodylus moreletii. Diet. Mesoamerican Herpetology 3 (2): 472-474 - get paper here
  • Cupul-Magaña, F. 2004. In der Welt des mythischen Krokodils. Draco 5 (20): 75-80 - get paper here
  • Dever, Jennifer A., Richard E. Strauss, Thomas R. Rainwater, Scott T. McMurry and Llewellyn D. Densmore, III. 2002. Genetic diversity, population subdivision, and gene flow in Morelet's Crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) from belize, Central America. Copeia 2002 (4): 1078-1091 - get paper here
  • Domínquez-Laso, Jerónimo 2009. First record of a Morelet’s Crocodile in the Grijalva River, Chiapas, Mexico. Crocodile Specialist Group Newsletter 28(2):14
  • Duméril 1852. Archiv. Mus. Hist. Nat. 6: 254 - get paper here
  • Duméril, A.M.C. & A. H. A. Duméril 1851. Catalogue méthodique de la collection des reptiles du Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle de Paris. Gide et Baudry/Roret, Paris, 224 pp.
  • Dunkle, D.H. 1935. Note on Crocodylus moreletii A. Dumeril from Mexico. Copeia 1935 (4): 182 - get paper here
  • González-Trujillo, Ricardo; Rodrigo Méndez-Alonzo, Víctor Arroyo-Rodríguez, Ernesto Vega, Alberto González-Romero, and Víctor H. Reynoso 2014. Vegetation Cover and Road Density as Indicators of Habitat Suitability for the Morelet's Crocodile. Journal of Herpetology Jun 2014, Vol. 48, No. 2: 188-194. - get paper here
  • Günther, A. C. L. G. 1885. Reptilia and Batrachia. Biologia Centrali-Américana. Taylor, & Francis, London, 326 pp. [published in parts from 1885-1902; reprint by the SSAR 1987] - get paper here
  • Johnson, Jerry D.; Vicente Mata-Silva, Elí García Padilla, and Larry David Wilson 2015. The Herpetofauna of Chiapas, Mexico: composition, distribution, and conservation. Mesoamerican Herpetology 2 (3): 272–329. - get paper here
  • Lemos-Espinal, Julio A. and James R. Dixon 2013. Amphibians and Reptiles of San Luis Potosí. Eagle Mountain Publishing, xii + 300 pp.
  • Lemos-Espinal, Julio A., Geoffrey R. Smith 2015. Amphibians and reptiles of the state of Hidalgo, Mexico. Check List 11 (3): 1642 - get paper here
  • Mata-Silva, Vicente, Jerry D. Johnson, Larry David Wilson and Elí García-Padilla. 2015. The herpetofauna of Oaxaca, Mexico: composition, physiographic distribution, and conservation status. Mesoamerican Herpetology 2 (1): 6–62 - get paper here
  • Mazzotti, Frank J.; Michael S. Cherkiss, Laura A. Brandt, Ikuko Fujisaki, Kristen Hart, Brian Jeffery, Scott T. McMurry, Steven G. Platt, Thomas R. Rainwater, and Joy Vinci 2012. Body Condition of Morelet's Crocodiles (Crocodylus moreletii) from Northern Belizea. Journal of Herpetology 46 (3): 356-362. - get paper here
  • MCVAY, JOHN D.; DAVID RODRIGUEZ, THOMAS R. RAINWATER, <br />JENNIFER A. DEVER, STEVEN G. PLATT, SCOTT T. MCMURRY, <br />MICHAEL R.J. FORSTNER5, AND LLEWELLYN D. DENSMORE III 2008. Evidence of Multiple Paternity in Morelet’s Crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) in Belize, CA, Inferred From Microsatellite Markers. J. Exp. Zool. 309A: 643–648
  • Meganathan, P.R.; Bhawna Dubey, Mark A. Batzer, David A. Ray, Ikramul Haque 2010. Molecular phylogenetic analyses of genus Crocodylus (Eusuchia, Crocodylia, Crocodylidae) and the taxonomic position of Crocodylus porosus. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 57 (1): 393-402 - get paper here
  • Meredith, Robert W.; Evon R. Hekkala b, George Amato c, John Gatesy 2011. A phylogenetic hypothesis for Crocodylus (Crocodylia) based on mitochondrial DNA: Evidence for a trans-Atlantic voyage from Africa to the New World. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 60: 183–191 - get paper here
  • Meurer, A. 2015. Private Pflege und Nachzucht bedrohter Krokodile. Terraria-Elaphe 2016 (1): 66-74 - get paper here
  • Miles, Lee G.; Stacey L. Lance; Sally R. Isberg; <br />Chris Moran; Travis C. Glenn 2009. Cross-species amplification of microsatellites in crocodilians: assessment and applications for the future. Conserv Genet. 10:935–954
  • Morelet, A. 1871. Travels in Central America. (Translated to English by M.F. Squier). Leypold, Holt and Williams, New York. 430 pp.
  • Navarro Serment, C.J. 2004. The return of Morelet’s Crocodile, Crocodylus moreletii. Reptilia (GB) (36): 54-60 - get paper here
  • Nickel, H. & Auliya, M. 2004. Krokodile - faszinierende Überlebenskünstler. Draco 5 (20): 4-19 - get paper here
  • Piras, Paolo; Luciano Teresi; Angela D. Buscalioni and Jorge Cubo 2009. The shadow of forgotten ancestors differently constrains the fate of Alligatoroidea and Crocodyloidea. Global Ecology and Biogeography (Global Ecol. Biogeogr.) 18: 30–40
  • Platt, S. G. and T. R. Rainwater 2016. Crocodylus moreletii (Morelet's Crocodile) troglodytism. Herpetological Review 47(3): 457-458.
  • Platt, S.G., and T.R. Rainwater. 2005. A review of morphological characters useful for distinguishing Morelet’s crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) and American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) with an emphasis on populations in the coastal zone of Belize. Bull. Chicago Herp. Soc. 40 (2): 25-29. - get paper here
  • Platt, Steven G. 1994. Morelet's Crocodile, Crocodylus moreletii. Reptile & Amphibian Magazine (July/August): 32-39
  • Platt, Steven G. 2000. Dens and denning behavior of Morelet’s crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii). Amphibia-Reptilia 21 (2): 232-237 - get paper here
  • Platt, Steven G., Thomas R. Rainwater and Scott T. McMurry. 2016. Predatory interaction between a Morelet’s Crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) and a Mexican Hairy Porcupine (Sphiggurus mexicanus) in Belize. Mesoamerican Herpetology 3 (2): 474-477 - get paper here
  • Platt, Steven G.; Rainwater, Thomas R.; Thorbjarnarson, John B.; McMurry, Scott T. 2008. Scalation of Morelet's crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) from Northern Belize. Herpetological Review 39 (3):293-296 - get paper here
  • Ray, D.A.; Dever, J.A.; Platt, S.G.; Rainwater, T.R.; Finger, A.G.; McMurry, S.T.; Batzer, M.A.; Barr, B.; Stafford, P.J.; McKnight, J.; Densmore, L.D. 2004. Low levels of nucleotide diversity in Crocodylus moreletii and evidence of hybridization with C. acutus. Conservation Genetics 5:449-462.
  • Ricardo Serna-LaguneS1* & Pablo Díaz-rivera1 2011. VARIACIÓN GENÉTICA Y CONSERVACIÓN DE UNA POBLACION DE CROCODYLUS MORELETII EN CAUTIVERIO. Acta Zoológica Mexicana 27 (3): 547-563 - get paper here
  • Rodriguez, David 2007. CROCODILIAN EVOLUTION, SYSTEMATICS AND POPULATION GENETICS: RECOVERY AND ECOLOGICAL INTERACTIONS OF THE AMERICAN CROCODILE (CROCODYLUS ACUTUS). PhD thesis, Texas Tech Univ., 121 pp.
  • Ross C A 1987. Crocodylus moreletii Dumeril and Bibron. Morelet's crocodile. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles ( 407: 1-3 - get paper here
  • Ross, C.A.;Ross, F.D. 1987. Identity of Crocodilus mexicanus Bocourt, 1869 (Reptilia: Crocodylidae). Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington 100 (4): 713-716 - get paper here
  • Smith,H.M. & Taylor,E.H. 1950. An annotated checklist and key to the reptiles of Mexico exclusive of the snakes. Bull. US Natl. Mus. 199: 1-253 - get paper here
  • Stuart, L. C. 1935. A contribution to a knowledge of the herpetology of a portion of the savanna region of Central Peten, Guatemala. University of Michigan Museum of Zoology Miscellaneous Publications 29: 1-56 - get paper here
  • Stuart, L. C. 1937. Some further notes on the amphibians and reptiles of the Peten Forest of Northern Guatemala. Copeia 1937 (1): 67-70 - get paper here
  • Stuart, L. C. 1948. The amphibians and reptiles of Alta Verapaz Guatamala. Miscellaneous Publications, Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan 69: 1-109 - get paper here
  • Stuart,L.C. 1963. A checklist of the herpetofauna of Guatemala. Misc. Publ. Mus. Zool., Univ. Michigan (No. 122): 1-150 - get paper here
  • Tellez, M., B. Arevalo, I. Paquet-Durand, and S. Heflick. 2017. Population status of Morelet’s Crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) in Chiquibul Forest, Belize. Mesoamerican Herpetology 4(1): 8–21 - get paper here
  • Terán-Juárez, Sergio A., Elí García Padilla, Vicente Mata-Silva, Jerry D. Johnson and Larry David Wilson. 2016. The herpetofauna of Tamaulipas, Mexico: composition, distribution, and conservation status. Mesoamerican Herpetology 3 (1): 43–113 - get paper here
  • Trutnau, L. & Sommerlad, R. 2006. Krokodile - Biologie und Haltung. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt, 646 pp. [review in Reptilia Münster 11 (6): 95-96]
  • Trutnau, L. & Sommerlad, R. 2006. Crocodilians. Their natural history and captive husbandry. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt, 646 pp. [review in Reptilia GB 48: 8-10]
  • Villegas, A. 2005. Características fenotípicas en Crocodylus acutus y C. moreletii en el sur de Quintana Roo. Crocodile Specialist Group Newsletter 24(3): 8-9
  • Villegas, Alejandro and Víctor H. Reynoso 2013. Relative Abundance and Habitat Preference in Isolated Populations of Morelet's Crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) along the Coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Herp. Cons. Biol. 8 (3) - get paper here
  • Wermuth,H. & Fuchs,K. 1978. Bestimmen von Krokodilen und ihrer Häute. Gustav Fischer Verlag, Stuttgart - New York, 100 pages, [ISBN 3-437-30268-X]
  • Willis, Ray E. 2009. Transthyretin gene (TTR) intron 1 elucidates crocodylian phylogenetic relationships. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 53 (3): 1049-1054 - get paper here
 
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