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Nilssonia nigricans (ANDERSON, 1875)

IUCN Red List - Nilssonia nigricans - Extinct in the Wild, EW

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Higher TaxaTrionychidae (Trionychinae), Testudines (turtles) 
Common NamesE: Black Soft-shelled Turtle, Bostami Turtle
G: Dunkle Weichschildkröte 
SynonymTrionyx nigricans ANDERSON 1875
Gymnopus duvaucelii DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1835: 487 (partim)
Tyrse gangetica — GRAY 1844: 47 (partim)
Trionyx hurum — BOULENGER 1889 (partim)
Aspideretes nigricans — MEYLAN 1987
Trionyx nigricans — ALDERTON 1988
Trionyx nigricans — AHSAN & SAEED 1989
Aspideretes nigricans — DAS 1996: 39
Aspideretes nigricans — PRASCHAG & GEMEL 2002
Aspideretes nigricans — BONIN et al 2006
Nilssonia nigricans — PRASCHAG et al. 2007
Aspideretes nigricans — LENZ 2012 
DistributionIndia (Assam), Bangladesh (Chittagong)

Type locality: "Tanks at Chittagong, Bengal" (=Bangladesh) Map legend:
TDWG region - Region according to the TDWG standard, not a precise distribution map.

NOTE: TDWG regions are generated automatically from the text in the distribution field and not in every cases it works well. We are working on it.
TypesSyntypes: ZSI 664 and 1898 
CommentSynonymy: GEMEL & PRASCHAG (2003) pointed out that GRAY illustrated A. nigricans already in 1831 although he assigned it to A. hurum (then Trionyx hurum). See their paper also for a more complete synonymy.

Phylogenetics: According to the molecular data of Engstrom et al. (2004) Aspideretes should be renamed Nilssonia, as Nilssonia (GRAY 1872) has priority over Aspideretes (HAY 1903).

Reproduction: oviparous.

Lieterature: The paper by ANDERSON is not present in our AMNH collection.

Distribution: possibly in Bhutan (Lenz 2012 and references therein). 
  • Ahsan, F. & Saeed, A. 1992. Some aspects of the breeding biology of the Black Softshell Turtle, Aspideretes nigricans. Hamadryad 17: 28-31 - get paper here
  • Ahsan, M.F.; Haque, M.N. & Saeed, A. 1994. Notes on feeding habits and some morphological features of the Bostami Turtle, Aspideretes nigricans (ANDERSON). J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 91: 458-461
  • Ahsan, M.F.; Haque, M.N. & Fugler, C.M. 1991. Observations on Aspideretes nigricans, a semi-domesticated endemic turtle from eastern Bangladesh. Amphibia-Reptilia 12: 131-136 - get paper here
  • Alderton, D. 1988. Turtles and tortoises of the world. Facts on File, New York.
  • Anderson, J. 1875. Description of some new Asiatic mammals and Chelonia. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (4) 16: 282-285. - get paper here
  • Basumatary, Rajeev and D.K. Sharma 2013. The turtle fauna of Kaziranga National Park, Assam, India with notes on natural history and conservation status. Herpetology Notes 6: 59-72 - get paper here
  • Bonin, F., Devaux, B. & Dupré, A. 2006. Turtles of the World. English translation by P.C.H. Pritchard. Johns Hopkins University Press, 416 pp.
  • Das, I. et al. 2008. Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles of India. WWF/WII poster
  • ENGSTROM, TAG N.; H. BRADLEY SHAFFER AND WILLIAM P. MCCORD 2004. Multiple Data Sets, High Homoplasy, and the Phylogeny of Softshell Turtles (Testudines: Trionychidae). Systematic Biology 53 (5): 693–710 - get paper here
  • Ernst,C.H. and Barbour,R.W. 1989. Turtles of the World. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C. - London
  • Gemel, R.; Praschag, P. 2003. On the nomenclature and vernacular names of recent Aspideretes species (Reptilia, Testudines, Trionychidae). Zoologische Abhandlungen - Staatliches Museum fur Tierkunde in Dresden 53(1):93-105.
  • Gray, J. E. 1831. Synopsis Reptilium or short descriptions of the species of reptiles. Part I: Cataphracta, tortoises, crocodiles, and enaliosaurians. Treuttel, Wurz & Co., London, 85 pp.
  • Gray, J.E. 1844. Catalogue of Tortoises, Crocodilians, and Amphisbaenians in the Collection of the British Museum. British Museum (Natural History), London. viii + 80 p. - get paper here
  • Lenz, Norbert 2012. Von Schmetterlingen und Donnerdrachen - Natur und Kultur in Bhutan. Karlsruher Naturhefte 4, Naturkundemuseum Karlsruhe, 124 pp.
  • Meylan, P.A. 1987. The phylogenetic relationships of soft-shelled turtles (Family Trionychidae). Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 186 (1):1-101.
  • Praschag, P. & Gemel, R. 2002. Identity of the black softshell turtle Aspideretes nigricans (ANDERSON 1875) with remarks on related species. Faun. Abh. Mus. Tierk. Dresden 23: 87-116
  • Praschag, P.; Hundsdörfer, A.K.; Reza, A.H.M.A. & Fritz, U. 2007. Genetic evidence for wild-living Aspideretes nigricans and a molecular phylogeny of South Asian softshell turtles (Reptilia: Trionychidae: Aspideretes, Nilssonia). Zoologica Scripta 36 (4): 301-310 - get paper here
  • Purkayastha, Jayaditya; Ahmed Mahmadul Hassan, Hasanul Islam, Jessica Das, Manoj Sarma, Mituseela Ba 2013. Turtles of the Temple Pond of Kamakhya, Assam, India. Reptile Rap (15): 11-15 - get paper here
  • Singh, Shailendra, Shashwat Sirsi and Lonnie McCaskill. 2014. A year of steady progress for turtles and TSA India. Turtle Survival 2014: 40-44 - get paper here
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