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Trachemys decussata (GRAY, 1831)

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Higher TaxaEmydidae, Deirochelyinae, Testudinoidea, Testudines (turtles)
SubspeciesTrachemys decussata decussata (GRAY 1831)
Trachemys decussata angusta (BARBOUR & CARR 1940) 
Common NamesE: Cuban Slider, North Antillean Slider 
SynonymEmys decussata GRAY 1831
Testudo rugosa SHAW 1802
Emys Decussata — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1835: 279
Emys Rugosa — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1835: 284
Emys decussata — BELL 1836-1842
Emys vermiculata GRAY 1844
Ptychemys decussata — AGASSIZ (fide GRAY 1863: 182)
Emys jamao DUMÉRIL 1861 (nomen nudum)
Emys gnatho VILARÓ 1868 (in POEY)
Pseudemys rugosa — GRANT 1941: 52
Pseudemys rugosa rugosa — MITTLEMAN 1947
Pseudemys terrapen decussata — MERTENS & WERMUTH 1955
Trachemys decussata decussata — IVERSON 1986
Pseudemys decussata plana BARBOUR & CARR 1940: 405
Trachemys decussata — SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON 1991: 173
Trachemys decussata decussata — SEIDEL 2002
Trachemys decussata — TTWG 2014
Trachemys decussata decussata — VARGAS-RAMÍREZ et al. 2017
Trachemys decussata decussata — TTWG 2021

Trachemys decussata angusta (BARBOUR & CARR 1940)
Pseudemys decussata angusta BARBOUR & CARR 1940: 402
Pseudemys granti BARBOUR & CARR 1940: 59
Pseudemys terrapen granti — MERTENS & WERMUTH 1955
Trachemys decussata granti — IVERSON 1986
Trachemys decussata angusta — IVERSON 1986
Trachemys granti (BARBOUR & CARR 1941) fide SEIDEL 1988
Trachemys decussata angusta — SEIDEL 2002
Trachemys decussata angusta — TTWG 2014
Trachemys decussata angusta — VARGAS-RAMÍREZ et al. 2017
Trachemys decussata angusta — TTWG 2021 
DistributionCuba, Isla de Pinos, Cayman Islands

Introduced to Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, Marie Galante.

decussata: central and eastern Cuba; Archipiélago de Sabana-Camagüey. Type locality: "America Boreali".

angusta: western Cuba; Isla de la Juventud; Cayman Is.  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1947.3.4.79
Holotype: MCZ 34340 [angusta]
Holotype: MCZ 46045 [granti]
Holotype: MCZ 34134 [plana] 
CommentSynonymy: partly fide SEIDEL 1988.

For illustrations see Barbour and Ramsden, 1919 (as Pseudemys palustris); Barbour and Carr, 1940 (as Pseudemys d. decussata, Ps. d. plana, Ps. d. angusta); Grant,1941 (as Ps. rugosa); Wermuth and Mertens, 1961 (as Ps. terrapen rugosa); Seidel, 1988; Seidel,1990.

Habitat: freshwater (lakes, ponds, rivers) 
Etymologydecussata means beauty or splendor; probably referring to the markings of young individuals (Seidel & Ernst 2017). 
  • Bakkegard, K. 2022. The amphibians and reptiles of Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba: An updated checklist and notes on conservation status and occurrence. Reptiles & Amphibians, 29(1), 446-460 - get paper here
  • Bakowskie, Ronny 2013. Über einen kleinen Tierpark im Nordosten Kubas. Terraria-Elaphe 2013 (6): 46-48 - get paper here
  • Barbour, T. and C. T. Ramsden. 1919. The herpetology of Cuba. Mem. Mus. Comp. Zool., Harvard Coll. 47: 69-213. - get paper here
  • Barbour, T., and A. Carr. 1940. Antillean terrapins. Memoirs of the Museum of Comparative Zoology. Harvard University, Cambridge. 54: 381-415. - get paper here
  • Bell, T. 1836. A monograph of the Testudinata. London, 1836-1842 (sometimes given as 1832-1836, not date given, unnumbered pages) - get paper here
  • Bour, R. 2008. Global diversity of turtles (Chelonii; Reptilia) in freshwater. Hydrobiologia 595:593–598 - get paper here
  • De Sola, C., & Greenhall, A. 1932. Two Species of Terrapin in Cuba: The Antillean Terrapin Pseudemys rugosa, and the Cuban Terrapin, Pseudemys decussata. Copeia, 1932(3), 129-133 - get paper here
  • Duméril, A.M.C., and G. Bibron. 1835. Erpétologie Générale ou Histoire Naturelle Complète des Reptiles, Vol. 2. Librairie Encyclopédique de Roret, Paris, iv + 680 p. - get paper here
  • Fidenci, Pierre 2002. An overview of the Cuban Turtle, Trachemys decussata, in Cuba. Herpetological Bulletin (80): 20-22 - get paper here
  • Fritz U. 1990. Haltung und Nachzucht der Jamaika-Schmuckschildkröte Trachemys terrapen (LACÉPÈDE, 1788) und Bemerkungen zur Fortpflanzungsstrategie von neotropischen Schmuckschildkröten der Gattung Trachemys. Salamandra 26 (1): 1-18 - get paper here
  • Grant, C. 1941. The herpetology of the Cayman Islands. Bulletin of the Institute of Jamaica, Science Series [1940] (2):1-56
  • Gray, J. E. 1831. A synopsis of the species of Class Reptilia. In: Griffith, E & E. Pidgeon: The animal kingdom arranged in conformity with its organisation by the Baron Cuvier with additional descriptions of all the species hither named, and of many before noticed [V Whittaker, Treacher and Co., London: 481 + 110 pp. [1830]
  • Gray, J. E. 1863. Notes on American Emydidae, and Professor Agassiz’s observations on my Catalogue of them. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (3) 12: 176-183 - get paper here
  • Lever, C. 2003. Naturalized reptiles and amphibians of the world. Oxford University Press, 338 pp.
  • McCord, W.P.; Joseph-Ouni, M. & Uhrig, D. 2005. Chelonian Illustrations #22: Sliders of the Caribbean Islands. Reptilia (GB) (42): 81-83 - get paper here
  • McCranie, James R.; Frank Köhler, Alexander Gutsche and Leonardo Valdés Orellana 2013. Trachemys grayi emolli (Testudines, Emydidae) in Honduras and its systematic relationships based on mitochondrial DNA. Zoosystematics and Evolution 89 (1): 21–29 - get paper here
  • Mittleman, M. B. 1947. The allocation of Testudo rugosa Shaw. Herpetologica 3: 173-176 - get paper here
  • Parham, James F.; Theodore J. Papenfuss, Peter Paul van Dijk, Byron S. Wilson, Cristian Marte, Lourdes Rodriguez Schettino, W. Brian Simison 2013. Genetic introgression and hybridization in Antillean freshwater turtles (Trachemys) revealed by coalescent analyses of mitochondrial and cloned nuclear markers. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 67 (1):176–187 - get paper here
  • Rodríguez Schettino, Lourdes, Carlos A. Mancina & Vilma Rivalta González 2013. REPTILES OF CUBA: CHECKLIST AND GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTIONS. Smithsonian Herp. Inf. Serv. (144): 1-96 - get paper here
  • Schwartz, A. & Henderson, R.W. 1991. Amphibians and Reptiles of the West Indies. University of Florida Press, Gainesville, 720 pp.
  • Seidel M E 1988. Trachemys decussata (Gray). North Antillean slider. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles (( 440) : 1-3 - get paper here
  • Seidel M E 1988. Revision of the West Indian emydid turtles (Testudines). American Museum Novitates (2918): 1-41 - get paper here
  • Seidel, M.E. 1990. Growth and population characteristics of the slider turtle, Trachemys decussata, on Grand Cayman Island. Journal of Herpetology 24 (2): 191-196. - get paper here
  • Seidel, Michael E. 2002. Taxonomic observations on extant species and subspecies of slider turtles, genus Trachemys. Journal of Herpetology 36 (2): 285-292 - get paper here
  • Seidel, Michael E. & Carl H. Ernst 2017. A Systematic Review of the Turtle Family Emydidae. Vertebrate Zoology 67 (1): 1–122 - 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
  • Vargas-Ramírez M, del Valle C, Ceballos CP, Fritz U. 2017. Trachemys medemi n. sp. from northwestern Colombia turns the biogeography of South American slider turtles upside down. J Zool Syst Evol Res. 2017;55:326–339 - get paper here
  • Wermuth, H., and R. Mertens. 1961. Schildkröten, Krokodile, Brückenechsen. Gustav Fischer Verlag, Jena. xxvi + 422 pp.
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