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Elseya rhodini THOMSON, AMEPOU, ANAMIATO & GEORGES, 2015

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Higher TaxaChelidae, Chelodininae, Pleurodira, Testudines (turtles) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesSouthern New Guinea Stream Turtle 
SynonymElseya (Hanwarachelys) rhodini THOMSON, AMEPOU, ANAMIATO & GEORGES 2015
Elseya (Hanwarachelys) rhodini — TTWG 2017: 195 
DistributionS Papua New Guinea

Type locality: Rue Creek (tributary of Wau Creek), Gulf Province, Papua New Guinea (07 ̊11’ 67.3” S, 144 ̊37’ 13.8” E)  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: PNGM R25204, adult female 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Distinguished by gold speckling usually present in the sclera of the eye, which partially obscures the iris; base color green (Figure 10). In Elseya novaeguineae and Elseya schultzei the sclera is bright green and the iris is starkly contrasted, though the base colors of the sclera in the later is a duller and plainer green. The head shield in E. rhodini is reduced when compared to other species of this subgenus. The lateral edge of the head shield at its midpoint between the eye and the tympanum is above the level of the eye, below it in the other species. The ventral extension of the head shield down the parietal arch is also reduced, typically still reaching the tympanum, but narrower throughout its length. Posterior to the eye in E. novaeguineae and E. schultzei is a variable but generally present extension of the head shield that extends down behind the eye, in some specimens to nearly the midpoint of the eye. This is absent in E. rhodini. On the carapace the spots on the scutes of E. rhodini are visible in all growth stages, whereas in the other two species they are often faded or absent in adults. The cervical is generally present in the members of this group however it is narrower (approximately 30% of length) in E. rhodini whereas it is usually 50% of length in the other two species. The lateral sulcus of the first vertebral scute in both E. schultzei and E. novaeguineae contacts the center of the second marginal scute, whereas in E. rhodini it contacts the anterior 1⁄4 of the second marginal. The skull of E. rhodini can be diagnosed by the contact of the vomer with the pterygoids posteriorly and the premaxillae anteriorly.
 
CommentDistribution: see map in THOMSON et al. 2015: Fig. 1.

Habitat: freshwater (rivers, swamps) 
EtymologyNamed in honor of Anders G. J. Rhodin; Chairman Emeritus of the IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group; Founder and Director, Chelonian Research Foundation. He also researched the turtles of Papua New Guinea describing two species, Chelodina (M.) parkeri (Rhodin and Mittermeier, 1976) and Chelodina (C.) pritchardi (Rhodin, 1994). He was also one of the first to collect this new species (Rhodin and Rhodin, 1977), and the first to recognize it as new (Rhodin and Genorupa 2000). 
References
  • Bour, R. 2008. Global diversity of turtles (Chelonii; Reptilia) in freshwater. Hydrobiologia 595:593–598
  • 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
  • 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
 
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