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Sternotherus minor (AGASSIZ, 1857)

IUCN Red List - Sternotherus minor - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaKinosternidae (Kinosterninae), Kinosternoidea, Testudines (turtles)
Common NamesE: Loggerhead Musk Turtle 
SynonymGoniochelys minor AGASSIZ 1857: 424
Sternotherus minor — STEJNEGER 1923
Sternotherus minor minor — TINKLE & WEBB 1955
Sternotherus minor minor — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 45
Sternotherus minor minor — CROTHER 2000
Sternotherus minor — CROTHER 2000
Kinosternon minor — BONIN et al 2006
Sternotherus minor minor — RHODIN et al. 2010
Sternotherus minor — SCOTT et al. 2017
Sternotherus minor — TTWG 2021 
DistributionUSA (Alabama, Florida, Georgia)

Type locality: "neighborhood of Mobile," Alabama, "Columbus, Georgia," and "New Orleans," Louisiana, USA.; restricted to "Columbus, Georgia," by Schmidt (1953:88).  
ReproductionOviparous. Exhibits temperature‐dependent sex determination (TSD) fide Cornejo-Páramo et al. 2020 (and references therein). 
TypesSyntypes: MCZ 1570, 1571 (two specimens), 1572 (two specimens), and 1573. Tinkle (1958) subsequently identified MCZ 1572 (the two specimens catalogued under this number became USNM 71111 and UMMZ 63520) and MCZ 1573 as Sternotherus odoratus (after KING & BURKE 1989). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (minor): Morphologically, S. minor can be diagnosed from all other species of Sternotherus by this combination of characteristics: a round low carapace with flared margins that may possess three keels (a vertebral and paired lateral keels) which are obvious in all but the oldest adults, a distinctly darkly spotted head on a light background, a single gular scute, and a single pair of neck barbels. (Stejneger (1923), Smith and Glass (1947), and Tinkle and Webb (1955), Scott et al. 2017, Figs. 2.4 & 2.7). 
CommentSubspecies: The subspecies of S. minor have been elevated to full species status.

Habitat: freshwater (swamps, quiet rivers)

Distribution: see map in Scott et al. 2017: Fig. 2. S. minor occurs in the South Eastern United States from the St. John’s and Withlacootchee River basins in the Florida peninsula, northward to the Ogeechee River drainage in Georgia and westward to the greater Apalachicola-Choctawhatchee-Flint River basins in Georgia, Florida, and Alabama. 
EtymologyNamed after Latin “minor” = small or less, for the smaller size compared to S. carinatus. 
  • Agassiz, Louis 1857. Contributions to the Natural History of the United States of America. vol. 1. Little, Brown & Co., Boston, lii + 452 pp. - get paper here
  • Akeret, B. 2009. Unter und über Wasser durch die Karstgewässer Floridas. Draco 10 (37): 24-29 - get paper here
  • Bels, V.L. & Y.J.M. Crama 1994. Quantitative analysis of the courtship and mating behavior in the loggerhead musk turtle Sternotherus minor (Reptilia: Kinosternidae) with comments on courtship behavior in turtles Copeia 1994 (3): 676-684. - get paper here
  • Bidmon, Hans-Jürgen 2015. Drohgebärden vom ersten bis zum letzten Tag: Die Kleine Moschusschildkröte, Sternotherus minor minor. Schildkröten im Fokus. 12 (3): 3-23
  • 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 - get paper here
  • BROWN III, GROVER J.; TRISTAN M. CLARK, TOBIAS LANDBERG, JOHN A. MARTIN & MARK L. MANDICA. 2021. Geographic distribution: STERNOTHERUS MINOR (Loggerhead Musk Turtle). USA: GEORGIA: Fulton Co. Herpetological Review 52 (3): 574. - get paper here
  • Brown, G. & Lamb, J.Y. 2017. Geographic Distribution: Sternotherus minor peltifer (Stripe-necked Musk Turtle). Herpetological Review 48 (4): 810 - get paper here
  • Brown, G.J. & Lamb, J.Y. 2018. Geographic Distribution: Sternotherus minor peltifer (Stripe-necked Musk Turtle). Herpetological Review 49 (1): 72-73. - get paper here
  • Brown, Grover J., Lindeman, Peter V. and Huntzinger, Cybil C. 2017. Geographic Distribution: Sternotherus minor peltifer (Stripe-necked Musk Turtle). Herpetological Review 48 (1): 124-125 - get paper here
  • Burling, John W. and Jill A. Wicknick. 2010. Geographic distribution: Sternotherus minor peltifer. Herpetological Review 41 (3): 377 - get paper here
  • Burling, John W. and Jill A. Wicknick. 2010. Geographic distribution: Sternotherus minor peltifer. Herpetological Review 41 (3): 377 - get paper here
  • Chapin, Kenneth J. and Peter A. Meylan 2011. Turtle Populations at a Heavily Used Recreational Site: Ichetucknee Springs State Park, Columbia County, Florida. Herp. Cons. Biol. 6 (1): 51-60 - get paper here
  • Conant,R. & Collins,J.T. 1991. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern/Central North America, 3rd ed. Houghton Mifflin (Boston/New York), xx + 450 p.
  • Cornejo-Páramo, P., Lira-Noriega, A., Ramírez-Suástegui, C. et al. 2020. Sex determination systems in reptiles are related to ambient temperature but not to the level of climatic fluctuation. BMC Evol Biol 20: 103 - get paper here
  • Cox, W.A. & K.R. Marion 1978. Observations on the female reproductive cycle and associated phenomena in spring-dwelling populations of Sternotherus minor in North Florida (Reptilia: Testudines) Herpetologica 34 (1): 20-33. - get paper here
  • Cox, W.A., J.B. Hazelrig, M.E. Turner, R.A. Angus & K.R. Marion 1991. A Model for Growth in the Musk Turtle, Sternotherus minor, in a North Florida Spring Copeia 1991 (4): 954-968. - get paper here
  • Cox, W.A., M.C. Nowak & K.R. Marion 1980. Observations on Courtship and Mating Behavior in the Musk Turtle, Sternotherus minor Journal of Herpetology 14 (2): 200-204. - get paper here
  • Cox, W.A., S.T. Wyatt, W.E. Wilhelm & K.R. Marion 1988. Infection of the Turtle, Sternotherus minor, by the Lung Fluke, Heronimus mollis: Incidence of Infection and Correlations to Host Life History and Ecology in a Florida Spring Journal of Herpetology 22 (4): 488-490. - get paper here
  • Crother, B. I. (ed.) 2012. Standard Common and Current Scientific Names for North American Amphibians, Turtles, Reptiles, and Crocodilians, Seventh Edition. Herpetological Circular 39: 1-92
  • Dundee, H.A., & Rossman, D.A. 1989. The amphibians and reptiles of Louisiana. Louisiana St. Univ. Press, Baton Rouge 300 pp.
  • Ennen, Joshua R. and A. Floyd Scott 2013. Home Range Characteristics and Overwintering Ecology of the Stripe-Necked Musk Turtle (Sternotherus minor peltifer) in Middle Tennessee. Chelonian Conservation and Biology Jul 2013, Vol. 12, No. 1: 199-203. - get paper here
  • Ernst, Carl H.; Lovich, Jeffrey E. 2009. Turtles of the United States and Canada, 2nd edition. Johns Hopkins University Press, 827 pp. - get paper here
  • Ernst,C.H. and Barbour,R.W. 1989. Turtles of the World. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C. - London
  • Etchberger, C.R. & L.M. Ehrhart 1987. The Reproductive Biology of the Female Loggerhead Musk Turtle, Sternotherus minor minor, from the Southern Part of its Range in Central Florida Herpetologica 43 (1): 66-73. - get paper here
  • Folkerts, G.W. 1968. Food Habits of the Stripe-Necked Musk Turtle, Sternotherus minor peltifer Smith and Glass Journal of Herpetology 2 (3/4): 171-173. - get paper here
  • Gatten, R.E., Jr. 1984. Aerobic and Anaerobic Metabolism of Freely-Diving Loggerhead Musk Turtles (Sternotherus minor) Herpetologica 40 (1): 1-7. - get paper here
  • Hromada, S J; Woods, J & Gienger, C M; 2018. Geographic Distribution: Sternotherus minor peltifer (Stripe-necked Musk Turtle). Herpetological Review 49 (4): 713-714 - get paper here
  • Iverson, J.B. 1978. Reproductive cycle of female loggerhead musk turtles (Sternotherus minor minor) in Florida Herpetologica 34 (1): 33-39. - get paper here
  • Iverson, John B. 1977. Geographic variation in the musk turtle, Sternotherus minor. Copeia 1977 (3): 502-517 - get paper here
  • Iverson, John B. 1977. Sternotherus minor. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles (195): 1-2 - get paper here
  • Jensen, John B.; Carlos D. Camp, Whit Gibbons, & Matt J. Elliott 2008. Amphibians and reptiles of Georgia. University of Georgia Press, 575 pp.
  • Jones, R. L.;Knight, Charles;Majure, Terry 1993. Sternotherus minor peltifer (Stripeneck musk turtle). USA: Mississippi. Herpetological Review 24 (4): 154 - get paper here
  • Lehmann, H. 1984. Ein Zwillirtgsschlupf bei Sternotherus minor minor (AGASSIZ, 1857) (Testudines : Kinosternidae). Salamandra 20 (4): 192-196 - get paper here
  • Mead, James F., Alfred J. Mead and Dennis Parmley. 2015. Geographic Distribution: Sternotherus minor (loggerhead musk turtle). Herpetological Review 46 (3): 382 - get paper here
  • Mitchell, J. C. & Reay, K.K. 1999. Atlas of amphibians and reptiles in Virginia. Specialty Publication 1, VA Dept of Game and Fisheries, 122 pp. - get paper here
  • Mitchell, J.C. 1994. The reptiles of Virginia. Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, ca. 350 pp.
  • Munscher, Eric C., Ben Williams, Nicole Salvatico, Wayne Osborne and Brian Hauge. 2016. Geographic Distribution: Sternotherus minor minor (Loggerhead Musk Turtle). Herpetological Review 47 (2): 255 - get paper here
  • Munscher, Eric C.; Andrew D. Walde; J. Daren Riedle; Tabitha Hootman; Andrew S. Weber; Wayne Osborne; Josh Brown; Brian P. Butterfield; J. Brian Hauge 2020. Demographics of Sympatric Musk Turtles: The Loggerhead Musk Turtle (Sternotherus minor) and Eastern Musk Turtle (Sternotherus odoratus) in a Florida Spring Ecosystem Chelonian Conservation and Biology 19 (1): - get paper here
  • Munscher, Eric; Andrew D. Walde, Elizabeth M. Walton, Nicole Salvatico, Brian P. Butterfield, Wayne Osborne, Collin McAvinchey, J. Brian Hauge 2017. Turtle survey of Weeki Wachee Springs State Park reveals more than mermaid. Herpetology Notes 10: 601-609 - get paper here
  • Munscher, Eric; Andrew S Weber, Brian P Butterfield, Andrew Walde, Ayla Ross, Brian Hauge, Tabitha Hootman, Wayne Osborne, Steve J Enders 2021. Movements of loggerhead musk turtles (Sternotherus minor) in a Central Florida Spring-run. Herpetology Notes 14: 1043-1049
  • Neill, W.T. 1948. Use of Scent Glands by Prenatal Sternotherus minor Herpetologica 4 (4): 148. - get paper here
  • Onorato, D. 1996. The Growth Rate and Age Distribution of Sternotherus minor at Rainbow Run, Florida Journal of Herpetology 30 (3): 301-306. - get paper here
  • ORFINGER, ALEXANDER B.; ANDREW K. RASMUSSEN & RAYMOND L. HIX. 2021. STERNOTHERUS MINOR (Loggerhead Musk Turtle). MORTALITY. Herpetological Review 52 (1): 132. - get paper here
  • Palmer, W.M. & Braswell, A.L. 1995. Reptiles of North Carolina. Univ. North Carolina Press
  • Rau, Jens 2010. Die Zwerg-Moschusschildkröte Sternotherus minor. Natur und Tier Verlag, 64 pp. - get paper here
  • Roble, Steven M. 2016. Geographic Distribution: Sternotherus minor peltifer (Stripe-necked Musk Turtle). Herpetological Review 47 (2): 255 - get paper here
  • Sachsse, W. 1977. Sternotherus m. minor, eine Nachzucht und die damit verbundenen biologischen Beobachtungen (Reptilia: Testudines: Kinosternidae). Salamandra 13 (3-4): 157-165 - get paper here
  • Schilde, M. 2003. Family Kinosternidae. Reptilia (GB) (26): 16-21 - get paper here
  • Schmidt, Karl P. 1953. A Checklist of North American Amphibians and Reptiles. 6th ed. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Chicago, 280 pp. - get paper here
  • Scott, P. A., Glenn, T. C., & Rissler, L. J. 2017. Resolving taxonomic turbulence and uncovering cryptic diversity in the musk turtles (Sternotherus) using robust demographic modeling. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution - get paper here
  • Seidel, M.E., and R.V. Lucchino. 1981. Allozymic and morphological variation among the musk turtles Sternotherus carinatus, S. depressus and S. minor (Kinosternidae). Copeia 1981 (1):119-128. - get paper here
  • Smith, Hobart M. & Glass, Bryan P. 1947. A new musk turtle for southeastern United States. J. Washington Acad. Sci. 37 (1): 22-24
  • Snow, Frankie and Dirk J. Stevenson. 2011. Geographic Distribution: Sternotherus minor (loggerhead musk turtle). Herpetological Review 42 (3): 390 - get paper here
  • STEVENSON, DIRK J. et al. 2021. New County Records for Amphibians and Reptiles in Georgia, USA. Herpetological Review 52 (2): 350-359
  • Tinkle, D.W. 1958. The systematics and ecology of the Sternothaerus carinatus complex (Testudinata, Chelydridae). Tulane Studies in Zoology 6: 1-56 - 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
  • TTWG; Rhodin, A.G.J.; van Dijk, P.P.; Iverson, J.B. & Shaffer, H.B. [turtle taxonomy working group] 2010. Turtles of the World, 2010 Update: Annotated Checklist of Taxonomy, Synonymy, Distribution, and Conservation Status. Chelonian Research Monographs (ISSN 1088-7105) No. 5, doi:10.3854/crm.5.000.checklist.v3.2010 - get paper here
  • Walker, D.; Burke, V. J.;Barak, I.;Avise, J. C. 1995. A comparison of mtDNA restriction sites vs. control region sequences in phylogeographic assessment of the musk turtle (Sternotherus minor). Molecular Ecology 4: 365 - 373 - get paper here
  • WELC, MATTHEW & MONICA S. WALKER. 2022. Geographic distribution: STERNOTHERUS MINOR (Loggerhead Musk Turtle). USA: GEORGIA: Dooly Co. Herpetological Review 53(1): 76–77.
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