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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), Trionychoidea, Testudines (turtles) 
Subspecies 
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
Nilssonia nigricans — FRITZ & HAVAŠ 2007
Aspideretes nigricans — LENZ 2012
Nilssonia nigricans — LIEBING et al. 2012
Nilssonia nigricans — TTWG 2014: 417 
DistributionIndia (Assam), Bangladesh (Chittagong)

Type locality: "Tanks at Chittagong, Bengal" (=Bangladesh)  
Reproductionoviparous. 
TypesSyntypes: ZSI 664 and 1898 
Diagnosis 
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).

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

Distribution: possibly in Bhutan (Lenz 2012 and references therein).

Conservation: Nilssonia nigricans has only survived in an artificial temple pond in Bangladesh, but seems to be extinct in nature.

Habitat: freshwater (rivers and tributaries, lakes) 
Etymology 
References
  • Ahsan, F. & Saeed, A. 1992. Some aspects of the breeding biology of the Black Softshell Turtle, Aspideretes nigricans. Hamadryad 17: 28-31
  • 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 - get paper here
  • 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.
  • Bour, R. 2008. Global diversity of turtles (Chelonii; Reptilia) in freshwater. Hydrobiologia 595:593–598
  • 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
  • Galán-Regalado, Pedro 2015. Los Anfibios y Reptiles Extinguidos. Herpetofauna Desaparecida desde el Año 1500. Universidade da Coruña, Coruña, Spain (internationally distributed through pedidos@libromares.com or distribución@porticolibrerias.es). 509 pp. Softcover. €30.00 (ca. US $31.50). ISBN 978-84-9749-629-2.
  • 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
  • Kundu, Shantanu; Vikas Kumar 2018. Environmental DNA (eDNA) testing for detection of freshwater turtles in Temple pond Herpetology Notes 11: 369-371 - get paper here
  • Lenz, Norbert 2012. Von Schmetterlingen und Donnerdrachen - Natur und Kultur in Bhutan. Karlsruher Naturhefte 4, Naturkundemuseum Karlsruhe, 124 pp.
  • Liebing, Nicole; Peter Praschag , ruPali gosh , KarthiKeyaN VasudeVaN , s.M.a. rashid , diNg-qi rao , heiKo stucKas & Uwe Fritz 2012. Molecular phylogeny of the softshell turtle genus Nilssonia revisited, with first records of N. formosa for China and wild-living N. nigricans for Bangladesh. Vertebrate Zoology 62 (2): 261-272 - get paper here
  • 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, J. 2018. Urban biodiversity: an insight into the terrestrial vertebrate diversity of Guwahati, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 10(10): 12299–12316; - get paper here
  • Purkayastha, Jayaditya; Ahmed Mahmadul Hassan, Hasanul Islam, Jessica Das, Manoj Sarma, Mituseela Basumatary, Nilakshi Sarma, Nishant Chatterjee, Sachin Singha, Vishnupriya Nair, Arundhati Purkayastha, Jayashree Dutta, Madhurima Das 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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