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Rheodytes leukops LEGLER, 1980

IUCN Red List - Rheodytes leukops - Vulnerable, VU

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Higher TaxaChelidae, Chelodininae, Testudines (turtles) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesFitzroy River Turtle 
SynonymRheodytes leukops LEGLER & CANN 1980
Rheodytes leukops — COGGER 2000: 201
Rheodytes leukops — GEORGES & THOMSON 2010
Rheodytes leukops — WILSON & SWAN 2010 
DistributionAustralia (Fitzroy river and its tributaries, Queensland)
Australia (Queensland)

Type locality: "Fitzroy River, 63 km N and 25 km E of Duaringa, elevation 40 m, 23°09'S, 149°55'E, Queensland, Australia" Map legend:
Type locality - Type locality.
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.
 
Reproductionbreeds in psring, when females lay clutches of around 15 eggs. Incubation takes an average of 45 days. 
TypesHolotype: QM J31701 
CommentType species: Rheodytes leukops is the type species of the genus Rheodytes LEGLER and CANN 1980.

DIAGNOSIS (of genus and species): A short-necked Australian chelid distinguished from all other members of the Chelidae by the following characters (each character marked with an asterisk (*) is alone diagnostic among chelids): (1)* interlateral seam contacts on the posterior parts of the sixth and eighth marginal scutes; (2)* rib tips of costaIs 2-4 forming gomphoses with the centers of peripherals 4-6; (3) a narrow, unridged maxillary triturating surface that becomes even narrower in the premaxillary region; (4)* splenial bone lacking; (5) a long completely coossified dentary symphysis; (6) a maxillary tomial edge that is straight in profile; (7) a white ring around the iris; (8) relatively small eggs and short incubation period; (9) huge cloacal bursae.

Size: 25 cm max. 
EtymologyThe generic name is derived from the Greek roots rheos (current or stream) and dytes (diver) and alludes to the speed and agility of these animals in fast currents. The specific name is derived from the Greek leukos (white) and ops (eye) and refers to the distinctive white ring around the iris. 
References
  • Bonin, F., Devaux, B. & Dupré, A. 2006. Turtles of the World. English translation by P.C.H. Pritchard. Johns Hopkins University Press, 416 pp.
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp.
  • Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • Covacevich J.A., Couper, P.J., McDonald, K.R. 1998. Reptile diversity at risk in the Brigalow Belt, Queensland. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 42 (2): 475-486
  • Ernst,C.H. and Barbour,R.W. 1989. Turtles of the World. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C. - London
  • Georges, A. 1996. Electrophoretic delineation of species boundaries within the short-necked freshwater turtles of Australia (Testudines: Chelidae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society (1996), 118: 241–260.
  • Georges, A. & Thomson, S. 2010. Diversity of Australasian freshwater turtles, with an annotated synonymy and keys to species. Zootaxa 2496: 1–37 - get paper here
  • Legler, J.M., & Cann, J. 1980. A new genus and species of chelid turtle from Queensland, Australia. Contrib. Sci. Nat. Hist. Mus. Los Angeles Co. 324: 1-18 - get paper here
  • McCord, W.P. & Joseph-Ouni, M. 2004. Chelonian Illustrations #12: Snake-necked and monotypic side-necked turtles of Indo-Australasia. Reptilia (GB) (32): 66-69 - get paper here
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
 
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