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Graptemys flavimaculata CAGLE, 1954

IUCN Red List - Graptemys flavimaculata - Vulnerable, VU

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Higher TaxaEmydidae, Deirochelyinae, Testudinoidea, Testudines (turtles)
Common NamesE: Yellow-blotched Map Turtle
G: Gelbflecken-Höckerschildkröte 
SynonymGraptemys flavimaculata CAGLE 1954: 167
Graptemys oculifera flavimaculata CAGLE 1954
Graptemys flavimaculata — ERNST & BARBOUR 1989: 224
Graptemys flavimaculata — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 61
Graptemys flavimaculata — HERTWIG 2001
Graptemys flavimaculata — RHODIN et al. 2010
Graptemys oculifera flavimaculata — PRASCHAG et al. 2017
Graptemys flavimaculata — TTWG 2021 
DistributionUSA (Pascagoula River system in Mississippi, introduced to Florida)

Type locality: Pascagoula River, 13 miles S.W. of Lucedale, George Co., Mississippi.  
TypesHolotype: LSUM 111650 (was: TU = Tulane University) 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Graptemys flavimaculata is a member of a narrow-head complex that includes three species occurring only in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, Graptemys oculifera in the Pearl River drainage, Graptemys flavimaculata in the Pascagoula River and its tributaries, Graptemys nigrinoda in the Black Warrior and Alabama Rivers. 
CommentSynonymy: Praschag et al. 2017 suggest to reinstate G. flavimaculata, G. nigrinoda and G. oculifera as subspecies of G. oculifera, because these taxa correspond to only one sequence cluster each. However, these authors do not explicitly downgrade these species.

This is one of the 25 most endangered turtle species according to a 2003 assessment by the IUCN.

Diet: carnivore.

Habitat: freshwater (lakes, rivers) 
EtymologyNamed after the large yellow (”flavi”) spots “(maculata”) on the carapace 
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  • Bour, R. 2008. Global diversity of turtles (Chelonii; Reptilia) in freshwater. Hydrobiologia 595:593–598 - get paper here
  • Cagle, Fred R. 1954. Two new species of the genus Graptemys. Tulane Studies in Zoology 1 (11): 165-186 - get paper here
  • Conant,R. & Collins,J.T. 1991. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern/Central North America, 3rd ed. Houghton Mifflin (Boston/New York), xx + 450 p.
  • 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
  • Engert, R. 1986. Schildkröten der Gattung Graptemys, insbesondere G. flavimaculata (CAGLE, 1954) - ihre Pflege und Zucht. Herpetofauna 8 (42): 17-22 - get paper here
  • Ennen, Joshua R.; Brian R. Kreiser, Carl P. Qualls, and Jeffrey E. Lovich 2010. Morphological and Molecular Reassessment of Graptemys oculifera and Graptemys flavimaculata (Testudines: Emydidae). Journal of Herpetology 44 (4): 544–554 - get paper here
  • Ennen, Joshua R.; Jeffrey E. Lovich, Brian R. Kreiser, W. Selman, Carl P. Qualls 2010. Genetic and Morphological Variation Between Populations of the Pascagoula Map Turtle (Graptemys gibbonsi) in the Pearl and Pascagoula Rivers with Description of a New Species. Chelonian Conservation and Biology. 9 (1): 98–113 - get paper here
  • Ernst, Carl H.; Lovich, Jeffrey E. 2009. Turtles of the United States and Canada, 2nd edition. Johns Hopkins University Press, 827 pp. - get paper here
  • Ernst,C.H. and Barbour,R.W. 1989. Turtles of the World. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C. - London
  • Hertwig, S. 2001. Ökologie, Haltung, und Fortpflanzung im Terrarium von Graptemys caglei, G. flavimaculata, G. nigrinoda nigrinoda und G. oculifera. Salamandra 37 (1): 21-48 - get paper here
  • Horne, B.D., R.J. Braumun, M.J.C. Moore & R.A. Seigel 2003. Reproductive and nesting ecology of the Yellow-Blotched Map Turtle, Graptemys flavimaculata: Implications for conservation and management Copeia 2003 (4): 729-738. - get paper here
  • Jones, R.L. 1996. Home Range and Seasonal Movements of the Turtle Graptemys flavimaculata Journal of Herpetology 30 (3): 376-385. - get paper here
  • Killebrew, F.C. 1979. Osteological Variation between Graptemys flavimaculata and Graptemys nigrinoda (Testudines: Emydidae) Herpetologica 35 (2): 146-153. - get paper here
  • Kirkpatrick, David 1993. Map turtles of the United States. Reptile & Amphibian magazine (November/December): 7-17
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  • Lechowicz, Christopher. 2008. Tour d'horizon de l'histoire naturelle, la taxonomie, la préservation et les problémes actuels des tortues géographiques du genre Graptemys (Agassiz, 1857). Chéloniens 11:30-45
  • Lindeman, Peter V. 2017. Geographic Distribution: Graptemys flavimaculata (Yellow-blotched Sawback). Herpetological Review 48 (1): 122 - get paper here
  • McCoy C J; Vogt R C 1987. Graptemys flavimaculata Cagle. Yellow-blotched sawback. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles ( 403: 1-2 - get paper here
  • McCoy, C. J.; Oscar A. Flores-Villela, Richard C. Vogt, Michael Pappas & J. Kelly McCoy 2020. Ecology of Riverine Turtle Communities in the Southern United States: Food Resource Use and Trophic Niche Dimensions Chelonian Conservation and Biology 19 (2): 197-208 - get paper here
  • MItchell, J C; Lindeman, P V; Welc, M; Bosma, K; Brown, G J; Selman, W & Iverson, J B; 2019. Graptemys flavimaculata (Yellow-blotched Sawback), Graptemys geographica (Northern Map Turtle), and Graptemys gibbonsi (Pascagoula Map Turtle) Kyphosis. Herpetological Review 50 (2): 353-354 - get paper here
  • Praschag P, Ihlow F, Flecks M, Vamberger M, Fritz U. 2017. Diversity of North American map and sawback turtles (Testudines: Emydidae: Graptemys). Zoologica Scripta 46: 675– 682 - get paper here
  • Praschag, Reiner 2023. Auf Graptemys-Suche in den USA. Elaphe 2023 (5): 24-37
  • Praschag, Reiner 2023. Sägerücken- und Höckerschildkröten der Gattung Graptemys – eine artenreiche Gattung der Sumpfschildkröten. Elaphe 2023 (5): 12-23
  • Praschag, Reiner 2023. Sechs Jahrzehnte Erfahrungen mit der Haltung und Nachzucht von Höcker- und Sägerückenschildkröten der Gattung Graptemys Reiner Praschag. Elaphe 2023 (5): 38-52
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  • Selman, W. 2017. Graptemys flavimaculata (Yellow-blotched Sawback) Shell abnormality and long-term site fidelity. Herpetological Review 48 (4): 835-836 - get paper here
  • Selman, W. & P.V. Lindeman 2018. Spatial, Seasonal, and Sexual Variation in the Diet of Graptemys flavimaculata, a Threatened Turtle of the Pascagoula River System, Mississippi, USA Copeia 106 (2): 247-254. - get paper here
  • Selman, W. & Qualls, C. 2009. DISTRIBUTION AND ABUNDANCE OF TWO IMPERILED GRAPTEMYS SPECIES OF THE PASCAGOULA RIVER SYSTEM. Herp. Cons. Biol. 4 (2):171-184 - get paper here
  • Selman, W., J.M. Jawor & C.P. Qualls 2012. Seasonal Variation of Corticosterone Levels in Graptemys flavimaculata, an imperiled Freshwater Turtle Copeia 2012 (4): 698-705. - get paper here
  • Selman, Will 2012. Intradrainage Variation in Population Structure, Shape Morphology, and Sexual Size Dimorphism in the Yellow-blotched Sawback, Graptemys flavimaculata. Herp. Cons. Biology 7 (3): - get paper here
  • Selman, Will 2017. Diagnostic Trait Variability in the Imperiled Freshwater Turtle, Graptemys flavimaculata. Herpetologica 73 (2): 105-112. - get paper here
  • Selman, Will and Carl P. Qualls 2011. Basking Ecology of the Yellow-Blotched Sawback (Graptemys flavimaculata), an Imperiled Turtle Species of the Pascagoula River System, Mississippi, United States. Chelonian Conservation and Biology Dec 2011, Vol. 10, No. 2: 188-197. - get paper here
  • Selman, Will and Carl Qualls 2008. The impacts of Hurricane Katrina on a population of Yellow-blotched Sawbacks (Graptemys flavimaculata) in the lower Pascagoula River. Herp. Cons. Biol. 3: 224 - get paper here
  • Selman, Will and Peter V. Lindeman 2017. Spatial, Seasonal, and Sexual Variation in the Diet of Graptemys flavimaculata, a Threatened Turtle of the Pascagoula River System, Mississippi, USA. Copeia 106 (2): 247-254. - get paper here
  • Stephens, P.R. & Wiens, J.J. 2003. Ecological diversification and phylogeny of emydid turtles. Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 79: 577-610 - get paper here
  • TTWG; Rhodin, A.G.J., Iverson, J.B., Bour, R., Fritz, U., Georges, A., Shaffer, H.B., and van Dijk, P.P. 2021. Turtles of the World: Annotated Checklist and Atlas of Taxonomy, Synonymy, Distribution, and Conservation Status (9th Ed.). In: Rhodin, A.G.J., Iverson, J.B., van Dijk, P.P., Stanford, C.B., Goode, E.V., Buhlmann, K.A., and Mittermeier, R.A. (Eds.). Chelonian Research Monographs 8:1–472. doi:10.3854/crm.8.checklist.atlas.v9.2021. - get paper here
  • TTWG; Rhodin, A.G.J.; van Dijk, P.P.; Iverson, J.B. & Shaffer, H.B. [turtle taxonomy working group] 2010. Turtles of the World, 2010 Update: Annotated Checklist of Taxonomy, Synonymy, Distribution, and Conservation Status. Chelonian Research Monographs (ISSN 1088-7105) No. 5, doi:10.3854/crm.5.000.checklist.v3.2010 - get paper here
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