Elseya branderhorsti (OUWENS, 1914)
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Elseya branderhorsti?
|Higher Taxa||Chelidae, Chelodininae, Pleurodira, Testudines (turtles)|
|Common Names||New Guinea Snapping Turtle|
|Synonym||Emydura 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
Type locality: Southern New Guinea, 8° 50' 58.6896" S., 141° 14' 52.944" E. = neotype locality.
|Types||Neotype: PNGM R25201, designated by THOMSON et al. 2015. Holotype: non-existent or lost; described from a live specimen (GEORGES & THOMSON 2010)|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis: Diagnosed by the following characters: prominent head shield, cervical scute absent, prominent alveolar ridge on the triturating surfaces, carapace usually uniformly dark, lacking any regular spots; plastron uniformly cream or yellow (white in hatchlings and small juveniles); iris typically indistinct, dark, similar in color to the surrounding sclera (liquid eyes); large adult size. Affinities lie with Elseya dentata in Australia [from THOMSON et al. 2015].|
|Comment||Similar 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)
|Etymology||Named 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.|
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