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Psammobates tentorius (BELL, 1828)

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Higher TaxaTestudinidae, Testudinoidea, Testudines (turtles)
SubspeciesPsammobates tentorius tentorius (BELL 1828)
Psammobates tentorius trimeni (BOULENGER 1886)
Psammobates tentorius verroxii (SMITH 1839) 
Common NamesE: Tent Tortoise 
SynonymTestudo tentoria BELL 1828
Testudo tentoria — SOWERBY 1872
Testudo tentoria — BOETTGER 1889: 284
Psammobates tentorius — FRITZ & BININDA-EMONDS 2007
Psammobates tentorius — TTWG 2021

Psammobates tentorius tentorius (BELL 1828)
Testudo geometrica var. nigriventris GRAY 1855
Chersinella tentoria albanica HEWITT 1933
Chersinella tentoria tentorioides HEWITT 1933
Chersinella tentoria piscatella HEWITT 1933
Chersinella tentoria subsulcata HEWITT 1933
Chersinella tentoria karuica HEWITT 1933
Chersinella tentoria duerdeni HEWITT 1933
Chersinella tentoria lativittata HEWITT 1933
Chersinella tentoria karuella HEWITT 1933
Psammobates tentorius tentorius — LOVERIDGE & WILLIAMS 1957
Psammobates tentorius tentorius — VALVERDE 2005
Psammobates tentorius tentorius — ZHAO et al. 2019
Psammobates tentorius tentorius — TTWG 2021

Psammobates tentorius trimeni (BOULENGER 1886)
Testudo trimeni BOULENGER 1886
Testudo trimeni — BOETTGER 1889: 283
Testudo trimeni — WERNER 1910: 303
Chersinella tentoria hexensis HEWITT 1933
Psammobates tentorius tentorius — LOVERIDGE & WILLIAMS 1957
Psammobates tentorius — TTWG 2014: 405
Psammobates tentorius trimeni — SCHLEICHER 2015: 35
Psammobates tentorius trimeni — ZHAO et al. 2019
Psammobates tentorius trimeni — TTWG 2021

Psammobates tentorius verroxii (SMITH 1839)
Testudo verroxii SMITH 1839
Peltastes verreauxii GRAY 1870 (nomen subst. pro T. verroxii Smith)
Testudo fiski BOULENGER 1886
Testudo smithi BOULENGER 1886
Testudo verreauxii — BOULENGER 1889
Testudo verreauxi — BOETTGER 1889: 282
Testudo verreauxii — OUDEMANS 1895
Testudo seimundi BOULENGER 1903: 216
Testudo boettgeri SIEBENROCK 1904
Homopus bergeri LINDHOLM 1906
Testudo oscarboettgeri LINDHOLM 1907: 295
Testudo bergeri — SIEBENROCK 1909
Testudo verroxii — WERNER 1910: 302
Testudo bergeri — WERNER 1910: 304
Chersinella verroxii bergeri — HEWITT 1934
Testudo oscar-boettgeri LINDHOLM 1929 (nomen nov. pro T. boettgeri)
Chersinella fiski cronwrighti HEWITT 1934
Chersinella fiski orangensis HEWITT 1934
Chersinella fiski colesbergensis HEWITT 1934
Chersinella fiski grica HEWITT 1934
Chersinella fiski gricoides HEWITT 1934
Chersinella schonlandi HEWITT 1934
Chersinella verroxii amasensis HEWITT 1934
Psammobates fiski colesbergensis HEWITT 1937: 8
Psammobates depressa FITZSIMONS 1938
Testudo verroxii bergeri — MERTENS 1955
Testudo smithi bergeri — MERTENS & WERMUTH 1955
Psammobates tentorius verroxii — LOVERIDGE & WILLIAMS 1957
Testudo tentorius verroxii — MERTENS 1971
Psammobates tentorius verroxii — SCHLEICHER 2012
Psammobates tentorius verroxii — SCHLEICHER 2015
Psammobates tentorius verroxii — HOFMEYR et al. 2016
Psammobates tentorius verroxii — ZHAO et al. 2019
Psammobates tentorius verroxii — TTWG 2021 
DistributionNamibia (from the Great Namaqualand southeastward),
Republic of South Africa (to Cape Province)

Type locality: "Habitat in Africa?"  
TypesHolotype: OUM 8570
Holotype: SMF 7793 [Testudo boettgeri SIEBENROCK 1904]
Holotype: SMF 7793 - same as that of T. boettgeri [Testudo oscarboettgeri LINDHOLM 1907]
Holotype: M 17821, female [Psammobates depressa]
Syntypes: BMNH 1947.3.5.10·12 (3 specimens) [trimeni]
Holotype: NMSZ 1859.13.1680 (also given as RSM = Royal Scottish Museum, Edinburgh) [verroxi] 
CommentZhao et al. 2021 found multiple lineages within this species, possibly representing 4 to 7 species. 
  • Bates, M.F.; Branch, W.R., Bauer, A.M.; Burger, M., Marais, J.; Alexander, G.J. & de Villliers, M.S. (eds.) 2014. Atlas and Red List of the Reptiles of South Africa, Lesotho, and Swaziland. Suricata 1. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, 512 pp.
  • Bauer, A.M., and Branch, W.R. 2003. The herpetofauna of the Richtersveld National Park, Northern Cape Province, Republic of South Africa. Herpetological Natural History 8: 111-160 [2001]
  • Bell, T. 1828. Descriptions of three new species of land tortoises. Zoological Journal. London. 3: 419-421. - get paper here
  • Boettger, O. 1889. Herpetologische Miscellen. [I Epirus, II Corfu, III Kamerun, IV Gross-Namaland, V Transvaal, VI. Pondoland, VII Madagascar, VIII Madras, IX Java, X Nias, XI Nordwest-Peru]. Bericht senckenb. naturf. Ges. (Frankfurt): 267-316 - 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.
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1886. On the South-African tortoises allied to Testudo geometrica. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1886: 540-542 - get paper here
  • Boulenger, George Albert 1903. On a Collection of Batrachians and Reptiles from the Interior of Cape Colony. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (7) 12: 215-217. - get paper here
  • Branch, W R 1992. Homopus 'bergeri' - a wrong name for a new tortoise from southern Namibia. Journal of the Herpetological Association of Africa 40: 11 - get paper here
  • Branch, W.R. 1989. Homopus bergeri Nama or Berger's padloper (English), Bergerse Skilpad (in Afrikaans). OCCASIONAL PAPERS OF THE IUCN SPECIES SURVIVAL COMMISSION (SSC) No. 5: 75-77
  • Branch, William R. 1993. A Photographic Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Southern Africa. Cape Town: Struik Publishers, 144 S.
  • Ernst,C.H. and Barbour,R.W. 1989. Turtles of the World. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C. - London
  • Fritz, U., Tolley, K. A., Vamberger, M., & Ihlow, F. 2022. Phylogeny and phylogeography of chelonians from sub-Saharan Africa—A review of current knowledge in tribute to Margaretha D. Hofmeyr. Vertebrate Zoology, 72: 951-969 - get paper here
  • Fritz, Uwe and Olaf R.P. Bininda-Emonds 2007. When genes meet nomenclature: Tortoise phylogeny and the shifting generic concepts of Testudo and Geochelone. Zoology 110 (4): 298-307 [erratum in vol. 111 (1): 84] - get paper here
  • Herrmann, H.-W.; W.R. Branch 2013. Fifty years of herpetological research in the Namib Desert and Namibia with an updated and annotated species checklist. Journal of Arid Environments 93: 94–115 - get paper here
  • Hofmeyr, Margaretha D.; Melita Vamberger, William Branch, Alfred Schleicher and Savel R. Daniels 2016. Tortoise (Reptilia, Testudinidae) radiations in Southern Africa from the Eocene to the present. Zoologica Scripta 46: 389–400, DOI: 10.1111/zsc.12223 [Record online: 18 NOV 2016] - get paper here
  • Karl, Hans Volker; Tichy, Gottfried 1999. The taxonomy of Homopus bergeri Lindholm 1906 (Testudines: Testudinoidea). MAURITIANA 17 (2): 277-284
  • Köhler, J. & Güsten, R. 2007. Herpetological type specimens in the natural history collections of the museums in Darmstadt and Wiesbaden, Germany. Spixiana 30 (2): 275-288 - get paper here
  • Loveridge, Arthur & Williams, Ernest E. 1957. Revision of the African Tortoises and Turtles of the Suborder Cryptodira. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 115 (6): 163-557 - get paper here
  • Mashinini, P.L.; Mahlangu, L.M. 2014. An annotated catalogue of the types of chelonians (Reptilia: Testudines) in the Herpetology collection of the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History, South Africa. Annals of the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History 4: - get paper here
  • Oudemans, J.Th. 1895. Einige Bemerkungen über zwei südafrikanische Schildkröten. Zool. Anz. 18: 321-324 - get paper here
  • Schleicher, Alfred 2012. Seltenen Schildkröten Namibias auf der Spur. Terraria-Elaphe 2012 (1): 36-37 - get paper here
  • Schleicher, Alfred 2015. Reptilien Namibias. Namibia Scientific  Society, 276 pp.
  • Schleicher, Alfred 2020. Reptiles of Namibia. Kuiseb Publishers, Windhoek, Namibia, 271 pp.
  • Smith, A. 1839. Illustrations of the zoology of South Africa, Reptilia. Smith, Elder, and Co., London - get paper here
  • Sowerby, James de Carle and Edward Lear 1872. Tortoises, terrapins, and turtles: drawn from life. London, Paris, and Frankfort :H. Sotheran, J. Baer & co. - get paper here
  • TTWG [Peter Paul van Dijk, John B. Iverson, Anders G.J. Rhodin, H. Bradley Shaffer, and Roger Bour] 2014. Turtles of the World, 7th Edition: Annotated Checklist of Taxonomy, Synonymy, Distribution with Maps, and Conservation Status. 000.v7. Chelonian Research Monographs (ISSN 1088-7105) No. 5, doi:10.3854/crm.5.000.checklist.v7.2014 - get paper here
  • TTWG; Rhodin, A.G.J., Iverson, J.B., Bour, R., Fritz, U., Georges, A., Shaffer, H.B., and van Dijk, P.P. 2021. Turtles of the World: Annotated Checklist and Atlas of Taxonomy, Synonymy, Distribution, and Conservation Status (9th Ed.). In: Rhodin, A.G.J., Iverson, J.B., van Dijk, P.P., Stanford, C.B., Goode, E.V., Buhlmann, K.A., and Mittermeier, R.A. (Eds.). Chelonian Research Monographs 8:1–472. doi:10.3854/crm.8.checklist.atlas.v9.2021. - get paper here
  • Valverde, J. 2005. African Tortoises. Reptilia (GB) (43): 12-20 - get paper here
  • Valverde, J. 2005. Afrikanische Landschildkröten. Reptilia (Münster) 10 (56): 18-25 - get paper here
  • Werner,F. 1910. Reptilia et Amphibia. In Schultze, L., Zoologische und anthropologische Ergebnisse einer Forschungsreise im westlichen und zentralen Südafrika. Band IV, Systematik und Tiergeographie Vertebrata B. Denkschr. Med.-Nat. Wiss. GeselI. Jena 16: 279-370 [1910] - get paper here
  • Zhao, Z, Heideman, N, Grobler, P, Jordaan, A, Bester, P, Hofmeyr, MD. 2019. Unraveling the diversification and systematic puzzle of the highly polymorphic Psammobates tentorius (Bell, 1828) complex (Reptilia: Testudinidae) through phylogenetic analyses and species delimitation approaches. J Zool Syst Evol Res. 58 (1): 308-326 [2020] - get paper here
  • Zhao, Z., Heideman, N., Bester, P., Jordaan, A., & Hofmeyr, M. D. 2020. Climatic and topographic changes since the Miocene influenced the radiation and biogeography of tent tortoises (Psammobates tentorius) species complex in southern Africa as inferred from mitochondrial and nuclear genes, microsatellite markers as well Res. Square - get paper here
  • Zhao, Z., Oosthuizen, J., & Heideman, N. 2021. How many species does the Psammobates tentorius (tent tortoise) species complex (Reptilia, Testudinidae) comprise? A taxonomic solution potentially applicable to species complexes. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research, 00, 1– 23 - get paper here
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