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Elseya branderhorsti (OUWENS, 1914)

IUCN Red List - Elseya branderhorsti - Vulnerable, VU

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Higher TaxaChelidae, Chelodininae, Pleurodira, Testudines (turtles) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesNew Guinea Snapping Turtle 
SynonymEmydura branderhorsti OUWENS 1914 (fide GOODE 1967)
Emydura branderhorsti — WERMUTH & MERTENS 1977
Elseya branderhorsti — BOUR et al. in DAVID 1994
Elseya branderhorsti — THOMSON et al. 1997
Elseya branderhorsti — FRITZ & HAVAS 2007: 328
Elseya branderhorsti — GEORGES & THOMSON 2010
Elseya (Elseya) branderhorsti — THOMSON et al. 2015
Elseya (Elseya) branderhorsti — TTWG 2017: 193 
DistributionNew Guinea

Type locality: Southern New Guinea, 8° 50' 58.6896" S., 141° 14' 52.944" E. = neotype locality.  
Reproductionoviparous. 
TypesNeotype: PNGM R25201, designated by THOMSON et al. 2015. Holotype: non-existent or lost; described from a live specimen (GEORGES & THOMSON 2010) 
CommentSimilar species: Commonly confused with Elseya rhodini because of its superficial resemblance. Elseya novaeguineae is similar too, but occurs in a different area.

Habitat: freshwater (rivers, swamps) 
EtymologyNamed after Dr. Bastiaan Branderhorst whose identity initially posed a mystery. There is no record of him at the Bogor Zoological Museum, nor could his name be found in any zoological literature referable to New Guinea. Through a painstaking search of early 20th century travel and botanical works on Dutch New Guinea, it was possible to establish his identity and reconstruct his New Guinea travels with some accuracy. Later, through the courtesy of Dr. S. Adisoemarto of the Bogor Museum, a reference was obtained which briefly summarizes some of this information (van Steenis-Kruseman 1950). Bastiaan Branderhorst was born in Holland in 1880, received an M.D. degree in Utrecht in 1906 and spent 3 years from 1907 to 1910 as a military medical officer with the Dutch Army in Dutch New Guinea, serving under A.J. Gooszen and R.L.A. Hellwig, well-known explorers (Gooszen & Hellwig 1908; Hellwig 1908;1909; Anonymous 1910; Hellwig 1910b;a; Anonymous 1911; Heldring 1911). In addition to his medical duties his main pursuit was the collection of botanical and ethnographic specimens for the Buitenzorg (= Bogor) Museum (Heldring 1911; Valeton 1913). He collected several hundred plants and has at least 9 species of orchids and other exotic plants named after him (Smith 1910; Burck 1911; Harms 1911; Lauterbach 1911a;b; Pulle 1911; Smith 1911; Valeton 1911;1913; Smith 1914). Nowhere in the literature can any reference be found as to where he collected his turtle, but his plant localities are well documented, as are his travels. Specifically, he traveled extensively in southeastern Dutch New Guinea from the Lorentz River to the coast east of Merauke. Long excursions were made up the Lorentz, Eilanden, and Digoel rivers, where many plants were collected. Branderhorst left New Guinea in 1910, eventually settling into medical practice in Pengalengan, Java, where he apparently retired in approximately 1940. For details and references see Thomson et al. 2015. 
References
  • Artner, H. G. 2006. Haltung und nachzucht von branderhorst's elseyaschildkröte elseya branderhorsti (ouwens, 1914) nebst ergebnissen einer freilandstudie im verbreitungsgebiet der art. Emys 13 (3): 4–16
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - 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.
  • Bour, R. 2008. Global diversity of turtles (Chelonii; Reptilia) in freshwater. Hydrobiologia 595:593–598
  • Fritz, U. & Havas, P. 2007. CHECKLIST OF CHELONIANS OF THE WORLD. Vertebrate Zoology 57(2): 149-368 - get paper here
  • Georges, Arthur, Carla Eisemberg, Yolarnie Amepou and Eric Manasi. 2014. Turtle conservation challenges in papua New Guinea. Turtle Survival 2014: 22-24 - get paper here
  • Iskandar, Djoko T. and Mumpuni 2002. The herpetological type specimens in the Museum Zoologicum Bogoriense Collection. Hamadryad 27 (1):123-135
  • Ouwens, P.A. 1914. List of Dutch East Indian Chelonians in the Buitenzong Zoological Museum. Contributions a la Faune des Indes Neelandaises. 1:29-32 - get paper here
  • Thomson, S.; Amepou, Y., Anamiato, J. & Georges, A. 2015. A new species and subgenus of Elseya (Testudines: Pleurodira: Chelidae) from New Guinea Zootaxa 4006 (1): 059–082 - get paper here
  • Thomson,S., White,A. & Georges,A. 1997. Re-evaluation of Emydura lavarackorum: identification of a living fossil. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 42 (1): 327-336
  • 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
  • Wermuth, H., and R. Mertens. 1977. Liste der rezenten Amphibien und Reptilien. Testudines, Crocodylia, Rhynchocephalia. Das Tierreich. Berlin. 100: i-xxvii, 1-174
 
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