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Batagur affinis (CANTOR, 1847)

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Higher TaxaGeoemydidae (Geoemydinae), Testudinoidea, Testudines (turtles)
SubspeciesBatagur affinis affinis (CANTOR 1847)
Common NamesE: Southern River Terrapin
affinis: Western Malay River Terrapin
edwardmolli: Eastern Malay River Terrapin 
SynonymTetraonyx affinis CANTOR 1847
Batagur affinis — THEOBALD 1868: 16
Batagur affinis — PRASCHAG et al. 2008
Batagur affinis — TTWG 2014

Batagur affinis edwardmolli — TTWG 2014 
DistributionMyanmar (= Burma) (Irrawaddy River), S Thailand,
S Vietnam, Cambodia, West Malaysia, Indonesia (Sumatra)

affinis: Indonesia (Sumatra), Malaysia (West), Myanmar (?),
Singapore (extirpated), Thailand (extirpated?); Type locality: “Pinang” = Penang, Malaysia (see comment)

edwardmolli: eastern Malay Peninsula, Cambodia; once distributed in estuaries surrounding the Gulf of Thailand, extirpated in Vietnam; Type locality: Sre Ambel River system, Koh Kong Province, Cambodia.  
TypesLectotype: BMNH 1947.3.4.31 (designated by PRASCHAG et al. 2008).
Holotype: NMW 38903, Natural History Museum Vienna, juvenile in alcohol (hatched and died in captivity); don. Head Start Centre Sre Ambel, July 2009 [edwardmolli] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (edwardmolli): Adults differ from nominotypical subspecies of Batagur affinis by their distinctly more elongated head with upturned snout; males with chocolate brown to almost black head (east coast of peninsular Malaysia) or sometimes rusty brown to reddish head (Sre Ambel River system, Cambodia), edges of mouth orange; iris golden or bright yellow. Females and juveniles with conspicuous whitish grey to silvery blotches in temporal and parietal region; hatchlings with distally yellow marginal scutes. For corresponding characters of B. a. affinis, see Table 2 in PRASCHAG et al. 2008).
CommentOne of the three syntypes of Tetraonyx affinis from “Pinang” = Penang, Malaysia is a Batagur borneoensis (BMNH 1946.1.22.47) while the two other specimens are Batagur baska sensu lato.

Habitat: B. affinis, B. baska, and B. borneoensis are the only species living in tidal, brackish areas of the estuaries of medium and large rivers (Ernst et al. 2000) 
EtymologyEtymology (edwardmolli): The new subspecies is named in recognition of Professor Edward O. Moll, one of the foremost experts on river turtles, who substantially contributed to the knowledge of Batagur affinis and its natural history.  
  • Bour, R. 2008. Global diversity of turtles (Chelonii; Reptilia) in freshwater. Hydrobiologia 595:593–598 - get paper here
  • Cantor. T. E. 1847. Catalogue of reptiles inhabiting the Malayan Peninsula and Islands. J Asiat. Soc., Bengal, Calcutta. 16 (2): 607 - 656, 897-952, 1026 - 1078 - get paper here
  • Chen, Pelf Nyok 2017. Conservation of the Southern River Terrapin Batagur affinis (Reptilia: Testudines: Geoemydidae) in Malaysia: a case study involving local community participation. JoTT 9 (4): 10035–10046 - get paper here
  • Chen, Pelf-Nyok and Eng-Heng Chan. 2014. High hatch rates in Malaysian River Terrapin program are cause for optimism. Turtle Survival 2014: 51-52 - get paper here
  • Ernst, C. H.; Altenburg, R. G. M.; Barbour, R. W. 2000. Turtles of the World. Windows Version 1.2. World Biodiversity Database CD-ROM Series. Expert Center for Taxonomic Identification. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Gemel, R.; G. Gassner & S. Schweiger 2019. Katalog der Typen der Herpetologischen Sammlung des Naturhistorischen Museums Wien – 2018. Ann. Naturhist. Mus. Wien, B 121: 33–248
  • Horne, Brian D. and Heng Sovannara. 2014. Banner Year for the Southern River Terrapin in Cambodia. Turtle Survival 2014: 49 - get paper here
  • Moll, E.O., Platt, S.G., Chan, E.H., Horne, B.D., Platt, K., Praschag, P., Chen, P.N., and van Dijk, P.P. 2015. Batagur affinis (Cantor 1847) – Southern River Terrapin, Tuntong. Chelonian Research Monographs 5(8):090.1–17, doi:10.3854/ crm.5.090.affinis.v1.2015 - get paper here
  • PRASCHAG, PETER; ROHAN HOLLOWAY, ARTHUR GEORGES, MARTIN PÄCKERT, ANNA K. HUNDSDÖRFER & UWE FRITZ 2009. A new subspecies of Batagur affinis (Cantor, 1847), one of the world’s most critically endangered chelonians (Testudines: Geoemydidae). Zootaxa 2233: 57-68 - get paper here
  • Praschag, Peter; Sommer, Robert S.; McCarthy, Colin; Gemel, Richard; Fritz, Uwe. 2008. Naming one of the world's rarest chelonians, the southern Batagur. Zootaxa 1758:61-68 - get paper here
  • Som, S; Platt, S G; In, H; Phun, T & Horne, B D; 2019. Batagur affinis (Southern River Terrapin) Diet in the wild. Herpetological Review 50 (1): 116-117 - get paper here
  • Theobald, William 1868. Catalogue of the reptiles of British Birma, embracing the provinces of Pegu, Martaban, and Tenasserim; with descriptions of new or little-known species. Zool. J. Linnean Soc. 10: 4-67. - 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.; 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
  • Zug, G.R. & Mulcahy, D.G. 2019. Identification guide Amphibians and reptiles of South Tanintharyi. Fauna & Flora International, 101 pp.
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