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Gopherus morafkai MURPHY, BERRY, EDWARDS, LEVITON, LATHROP & RIEDLE, 2011

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Higher TaxaTestudinidae, Testudinoidea, Testudines (turtles) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesMorafka’s Desert Tortoise 
SynonymGopherus morafkai MURPHY, BERRY, EDWARDS, LEVITON, LATHROP & RIEDLE 2011
Xerobates agassizii COOPER 1861 (partim)
Testudo agassizii — COPE 1875
Gopherus agassizii — STEJNEGER 1893
Scaptochelys agassizii — BRAMBLE 1982
Gopherus morafkai — TTWG 2014 
DistributionUSA (Arizona), Mexico (Sonora)

Type locality: Tucson (approximate location 32° 7' N, 110° 56' W, elevation 948 m), Pima County, Arizona  
Reproductionoviparous. 
TypesHolotype: CAS (California Academy of Sciences) 33867; juvenile collected on 9 July 1912 by H. Brown and preserved in ethanol. Paratypes. ROM (Royal Ontario Museum) 47501, formerly CAS 13165, an immature tortoise collected by H. Brown from 20 miles (32 km) west of Tucson, (presumably the Roskruge Mountains, Pima County) Arizona, USA (approximate location 32° 7' N, 111° 18' W, where tortoises occur today), on 9 March 1908, received at CAS alive on 23 March 1908, and died 8 July 1908; CAS 34263, a juvenile collected by J.R. Slevin in the Catalina Mountains (Santa Catalina Mountains), foothills at west end of mountains, Pima County, Arizona, USA on 15 May 1912 (approximate location 32° 21’ N, 110° 57’ W). Specimens are preserved in ethanol. 
CommentSynonymy: after MURPHY et al. 2011. Note that Xerobates lepidocephalus has been synonymized with G. agassizii by CRUMLY & GRISMER 1994, a position that is also followed by the TTWG 2014 checklist but not Murphy et al. 2011 who synonymize Xerobates lepidocephalus with morafkai and more recently with G. evgoodei (Edwards et al. 2016). 
EtymologyThe new species is a patronym for the late Professor David Joseph Morafka in recognition of his many contributions to the biology and conservation of the species of Gopherus and his unsurpassed way of facilitating research, even among researchers with very different perspectives. 
References
  • Babb, Randall D., Thomas C. Brennan, David D. Kandiyeli, Christina M. Akins and Thomas R. Jones. 2013. Geographic Distribution: Gopherus morafkai (Sonoran Desert tortoise). Herpetological Review 44 (4): 623
  • Bezy, Robert L. and Charles J. Cole 2014. Amphibians and Reptiles of the Madrean Archipelago of Arizona and New Mexico. American Museum Novitates (3810): 1-24 - get paper here
  • Bramble DM 1982. Scaptochelys: generic revision and evolution of gopher tortoises. Copeia 1982: 852–867, doi: 10.2307/1444097 - get paper here
  • Bridges, Andy; Heather L. Bateman, Audrey K. Owens, Cristina A. Jones and William Miller 2016. Microhabitat Selection of Juvenile Sonoran Desert Tortoises (Gopherus morafkai) in Central Arizona. Chelonian Conservation and Biology 15 (2): 219-230 - get paper here
  • Crother, B. I. (ed.) 2012. Standard Common and Current Scientific Names for North American Amphibians, Turtles, Reptiles, and Crocodilians, Seventh Edition. Herpetological Circular 39: 1-92
  • Edwards T, Karl AE, Vaughn M, Rosen PC, Torres CM, Murphy RW 2016. The desert tortoise trichotomy: Mexico hosts a third, new sister-species of tortoise in the Gopherus morafkai–G. agassizii group. ZooKeys 562: 131-158. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.562.6124 - get paper here
  • Edwards, Taylor 2014. The Mexican Tortoise project. The Tortoise 1 (3): 128-141 - get paper here
  • Edwards, Taylor; Mercy Vaughn, Philip C. Rosen, Cristina Meléndez Torres, Alice E. Karl, Melanie Culver and Robert W. Murphy 2016. Shaping species with ephemeral boundaries: the distribution and genetic structure of desert tortoise (Gopherus morafkai) in the Sonoran Desert region. Journal of Biogeography43 (3): 484–497, DOI: 10.1111/jbi.12664 - get paper here
  • Enderson, Erik F.; Thomas R. Van Devender, Robert L. Bezy 2014. Amphibians and reptiles of Yécora, Sonora and the Madrean Tropical Zone of the Sierra Madre Occidental in northwestern Mexico. Check List 10 (4): 913-926 - get paper here
  • Gray, K.M., and R. Steidl. 2014. Effects of buffelgrass invasion on density and condition of Sonoran Desert Tortoises (Gopherus morafkai). Sonoran Herpetologist 27 (4):91-95. - get paper here
  • Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Roy C. Averill-Murray, Mickey Agha, Joshua R. Ennen, and Meaghan Austin 2017. Variation in Annual Clutch Phenology of Sonoran Desert Tortoises (Gopherus morafkai) in Central Arizona Herpetologica Dec 2017, Vol. 73, No. 4: 313-322. - get paper here
  • Murphy, Robert W.;Kristin H. Berry, Taylor Edwards, Alan E. Leviton, Amy Lathrop, J. Daren Riedle 2011. The dazed and confused identity of Agassiz’s land tortoise, Gopherus agassizii (Testudines, Testudinidae) with the description of a new species, and its consequences for conservation. ZooKeys 113: 39–71; doi: 10.3897/zookeys.113.1353 - get paper here
  • Nevárez-de los Reyes; Manuel, David Lazcano, Javier Banda-Leal and Ian Recchio 2014. Notes on Mexican Herpetofauna 22: Herpetofauna of the Continental Portion of theMunicipality of Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. Bull. Chicago Herp. Soc. 49(8):105-115 - get paper here
  • Skubowius, Bernd 2012. Echsen, Schildkröten, Amphibien und Spinnentiere – die vielfältige Welt der „creeping crawlers“ in Arizona. Draco 13 (50): 70-78 - get paper here
  • Sullivan, B.K., and E.A. Sullivan. 2015. Winter basking by hatchling Sonoran Desert Tortoises, Gopherus morafkai. Sonoran Herpetologist 28 (1):10-11. - get paper here
  • Sullivan, Brian K. and Elizabeth Sulivan. 2014. Gopherus morafkai (Sonoran desert tortoise) drinking behavior. Herpetological Review 45 (3): 483-484
  • Sullivan, Brian K. and Elizabeth Sullivan. 2016. Gopherus morafkai (Sonoran Desert Tortoise) Drinking behavior. Herpetological Review 47 (1): 123-124
  • Sullivan, Brian K.; Roy Averill-Murray, Keith O. Sullivan, Justin R. Sullivan, Elizabeth A. Sullivan, and J. Daren Riedle 2014. Winter Activity of the Sonoran Desert Tortoise (Gopherus morafkai) in Central Arizona. Chelonian Conservation and Biology Jul 2014, Vol. 13, No. 1: 114-119. - get paper here
  • TTWG [Peter Paul van Dijk, John B. Iverson, Anders G.J. Rhodin, H. Bradley Shaffer, and Roger Bour] 2014. Turtles of the World, 7th Edition: Annotated Checklist of Taxonomy, Synonymy, Distribution with Maps, and Conservation Status. 000.v7. Chelonian Research Monographs (ISSN 1088-7105) No. 5, doi:10.3854/crm.5.000.checklist.v7.2014 - get paper here
  • Valverde, J. 2011. Die Schildkröten Mexikos. Reptilia (Münster) 16 (91): 16-23 - get paper here
 
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