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Pelusios castaneus (SCHWEIGGER, 1812)

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Higher TaxaPelomedusidae, Pelomedusoidea, Pleurodira, Testudines (turtles) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesAfrican Mud Turtle 
SynonymEmys castanea SCHWEIGGER 1812
Sternotherus Castaneus — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1835: 401
Sternotherus derbianus GRAY 1844 (fide LAURENT 1965)
Sternotherus nigricans seychellensis SIEBENROCK 1906
Pelusios nigricans castaneus — HEWITT 1935: 344
Pelusios subniger castaneus — WERMUTH & MERTENS 1961
Sternothaerus nigricans seychellensis — WERMUTH & MERTENS 1977
Pelusios seychellensis — KING & BURKE 1989
Pelusios castaneus — KING & BURKE 1989
Pelusios castaneus — BROADLEY 1998
Pelusios cf. castaneus — GOSSMANN et al. 2002
Pelusios seychellensis — JOSEPH-OUNI 2004
Pelusios castaneus — STUCKAS et al. 2013
Pelusios castaneus castaneus — TTWG 2014: 437
Pelusios castaneus seychellensis — TTWG 2014: 437 
DistributionGuinea (Conakry), Senegal, Mauritania ?, Nigeria, W Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire); Mali (?; Joger & Lambert 1996), Cameroon (?), Gabon (GRAMENTZ 1999), São Tomé (Gulf of Guinea, D. Hofer, pers. comm., 18 Apr 2013), Central African Republic, Gambia, Benin, Angola

Type locality: "Patria ignota" (unknown); neotype from “vicinity of Koutchatcha (7º20' N, 1º18' E), a village close to the Amou River (ca. 30 km East of Gléï), Ogou Prefecture, Plateaux Region, Togo”.

seychellensis: Seychelles Islands; Type locality: "Seychelles"; restricted to "Seychelles; Mahe" by Siebenrock 1909, Zool. Anz. Leipzig 34(11, 12):362.  
Reproduction 
TypesNeotype: MNHN 2008.0303 (designated by BOUR 2008)
Types (seychellensis): NMW 13247, ZMH R 00982, ZMH R 00983; Broadley (1981:655) listed NMW 13247 as the type, and Bour (1983:353) designated NMW 13247 as lectotype. 
Diagnosis 
CommentSubspecies: Pelusios castaneus chapini has been raised to species status.

Distribution not corrected yet for that raise. Not in Mauritania according to Padial (pers. comm.). The type locality of Pelusios seychellensis was incorrectly reported as the Iles Glorieuse (=Gloriosa Isles), north of Madagascar, by Loveridge (1941) and others. For maps see TTWG 2014 and Kindler et al. 2015.

Synonymy: P. seychellensis is a synonym of P. castaneus fide STUCKAS et al. 2013. See Bour for a somwhat different synonymy.

Conservation: Pelusios seychellensis was declared extinct since 1912 (fide JOSEPH-OUNI 2004) or ca. 1950 (RHODIN et al. 2010), but since it is a synonym of P. castaneus it hasn’t been extinct.

Habitat: freshwater (Lakes, quiet rivers) 
Etymologynamed after the latinized Greek word “kastanea” = brown. 
References
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