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Pelodiscus sinensis (WIEGMANN, 1835)

IUCN Red List - Pelodiscus sinensis - Vulnerable, VU

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Higher TaxaTrionychidae, Testudines (turtles) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Chinese Soft-shelled Turtle
G: Chinesische Weichschildkröte 
SynonymTestudo rostrata THUNBERG 1787
Testudo semimembranacea HERMANN 1804 (nomen oblitum)
Trionyx (Aspidonectes) sinensis WIEGMANN 1835
Trionyx stellatus var. japon[ica] TEMMINCK & SCHLEGEL 1835 (in SIEBOLD)
Trionyx tuberculatus CANTOR 1842: 482
Tyrse perocellata GRAY 1844: 48
Trionyx perocellatus — GRAY 1855: 65
Trionyx schlegeli BRANDT 1858: 610
Trionyx sinensis — STRAUCH 1862: 177
Landemania irrorata GRAY 1869: 216
Oscaria swinhoei GRAY 1873
Gymnopus simonii DUMÉRIL 1875 (nomen nudum)
Yuen leprosus HEUDE 1880
Yuen viridis HEUDE 1880
Yuen pallens HEUDE 1880
Psilognathus laevis HEUDE 1880: 24
Temnognathus mordax HEUDE 1880: 26
Gomphopelta officinae HEUDE 1880: 27
Coelognathus novem-costatus HEUDE 1880: 29
Tortisternum novem-costatum HEUDE 1880: 31
Ceramopelta latirostris HEUDE 1880: 33
Coptopelta septem-costata HEUDE 1880: 35
Cinctisternum bicinctum HEUDE 1880: 37
Trionyx sinensis — GÜNTHER 1888: 166
Trionyx sinensis — BOULENGER 1889
Trionyx swinhonis BOULENGER 1889 (nom. subst. pro Oscaria swinhoei GRAY)
Trionyx cartilagineus var. newtoni FERREIRA 1897
Amyda japonica — STEJNEGER 1907: 515
Amyda sinensis — STEJNEGER 1907: 524
Amyda schlegelii — STEJNEGER 1907: 526
Trionyx sinensis cyphus VOGT 1922 (nomen illegitimum)
Amyda schlegeli haseri PAWLOW 1932
Amyda schlegeli licenti PAWLOW 1932
Amyda sinensis — SHANNON 1956
Trionyx sinensis — ALDERTON 1988
Pelodiscus sinensis — COX et al. 1998: 135
Pelodiscus sinensis — CROTHER 2000 
DistributionC/S China (Liaoning, Shaanxi, Anhui, Zhejiang, Guangdong), N Vietnam, Hainan, Taiwan, S Far East (Russia), Korea,
Japan (Bonin Islands), Indonesia (Timor), Japan, Philippine Islands (Panay)

introduced to Thailand and W Malaysia, USA (Hawaii), Philippines (Luzon, Diesmos 2008), and possibly Brazil (Felix-Silva et al. 2012); Bosnia, Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia

Type locality: Manzhouli
Type locality: "kleinen Insel in Tigerfluss, dicht bei Macao" (= small island in the Tiger River near Macao), China (fide KING & BURKE 1989). 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: ZMB 38, 39 extant, and ZMB 37 lost.
Lectotype: ZMB 38, Museum für Naturkunde Berlin 
CommentConservation: These softshell turtles are economically the most important chelonians of the world, with hundreds of millions of specimens traded as food every year. Moreover, Pelodiscus is used as a model organism for embryological and physiological studies, making correct species identification of paramount interest for disciplines beyond taxonomy.

Taxonomy: Using the phylogenetic placement of all lineages and uncorrected p distances of the mitochondrial cytb gene as a yardstick, Stuckas & Fritz (2011) suggest that the observed sequence variation is consistent with the existence of at least four distinct species within Pelodiscus. The name P. sinensis should be restricted to turtles harbouring the mitochondrial lineages B, C, D and the lineage of the lectotype. More divergent lineages are to be identified with P. axenaria, P. maackii and P. parviformis, which are recognized as valid species by these authors.

Synonymy mainly after STEJNEGER 1907. Trionyx maackii BRANDT 1858, previously considered as a synonym of P. sinensis, is now recognized as a valid species.

KUZMIN (2002) reported a hybrid between Apalone mutica and Pelodiscus sinensis.

The International Comission of Zoological Nomenclature retained the name Trionyx sinensis WIEGMANN 1835 over Testudo rostrata THUNBERG 1787.
ZHAO (1997) believes that Pelodiscus (= Trionyx) arenaria ZHOU et al. (1991) is a juvenile form of P. sinensis.

The illustration of Trionyx sinensis in WERMUTH & MERTENS (1961: 277, Fig. 196a) is a copy of the holotype of Oscaria (= Rafetus) swinhoei (Gray, 1873c: 157 and Pl. V).

Type species: The type species of Pelodiscus is Trionyx (Aspidonectes) sinensis according to BAUR (1893). For a historical definition of Pelodiscus see BAUR (1893).

Reproduction: oviparous.

Genomics: this is one of the species selected by the Genome 10K consortium for complete genome sequencing and a draft genome has been published in 2013 (Wang et al. 2013). 
References
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