Mesoclemmys heliostemma (MCCORD, JOSEPH-OUNI & LAMAR, 2001)
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Mesoclemmys heliostemma?
|Higher Taxa||Chelidae, Chelinae, Pleurodira, Testudines (turtles)|
|Common Names||Amazon Toadhead Turtle|
|Synonym||Batrachemys heliostemma MCCORD, JOSEPH-OUNI & LAMAR 2001|
Batrachemys heliostemma — MCCORD & JOSEPH-OUNI 2002
Batrachemys heliostemma — SOUZA 2004
Mesoclemmys heliostemma — BOUR & ZAHER 2005
Batrachemys heliostemma — CISNEROS-HEREDIA 2006
Batrachemys heliostemma — REYNOLDS et al. 2007
Mesoclemmys heliostemma — VAN DIJK et al. 2011
Batrachemys heliostemma — RIVAS et al. 2012
Mesoclemmys heliostemma — MOLINA et al. 2012
Phrynops (Batrachemys) heliostemma — PHILIPPEN 2012
|Distribution||Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil (Roraima, Amazonas, Pará, Mato Grosso, Rondônia, Acre)|
Type locality: base of Pico da Neblina (situated on the Venezuela/Brazil border) on the left bank of Río Baria (=Río Mawarinuma) (4° 95’ N, 66° 10’ W), a tributary of the Rio Negro, Amazonas, Venezuela.
|Types||Holotype: USNM 541895|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis. - A medium- to large-sized toadhead turtle of the genus Batrachemys that is distinguished from members of other toadhead genera by its large, wide, rounded head; its narrow parietal roof and parieto-squamosal arch; its reduced neural bone series; the combination of its relatively "shallow" carapace, having a median groove, lacking a keel, absence of lateral marginal narrowing, and presence of mild lateral marginal upturning; the presence of a large antero-medial distal tibial scale; and its distinct plastral pattern.|
Batrachemys heliostemma is distinguished from its congeners by its distinct head coloration; diminished size of neck tubercles; lack of horizontal line in the iris; greater parietal roof width; its carapace widest at M7; 4th vertebral scute always wider than long; 11th marginals equal to or wider than 12th; mild upturning of lateral marginals; inter-gular scute narrower than gulars; greater width of the anterior plastral lobe; its plastral seam formula; and its plastral pattern.
Among its congeners Batrachemys heliostemma is sympatric with and most similar to B. raniceps. The two forms share a relatively similar head size and shape, a pointed nose, small barbels, a similar neural bone series, a similar plastral seam formula, lack of keels, a shallow carapace groove, a well-developed distal antero-medial tibial scale, and similar plastral patterns. However, B. heliostemma sp. nov. differs from B. raniceps by having a different head pattern and coloration, a broader parietal roof, a more substantial parieto-squamosal arch, an intergular narrower than its gulars (opposite in B. raniceps), a flatter shell, and 11th pair of marginals equal or wider than 12th (equal in B. raniceps). [from MCCORD et al. 2001].
|Comment||For a color illustration and distribution map see MCCORD & JOSEPH-OUNI 2002.|
Synonymy: has been considered as a synomym of M. raniceps.
Habitat: freshwater (rivers, swamps)
|Etymology||Named after Greek helios, "sun," and Greek stemma (grammatical gender neutral), "wreath," in reference to the bright yellow-orange facial bands found in many juveniles that extend like a wreath from the supra-tympanum over and across the eyes, ending and joining at the tip of the nose.|
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