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Chelodina rugosa OGILBY, 1889

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Higher TaxaChelidae, Chelodininae, Pleurodira, Testudines (turtles)
Common NamesNorth Australian Snake-necked Turtle (siebenorcki: Siebenrock’s Snake-necked Turtle; oblonga: Narrow-breasted Snake-necked Turtle) 
SynonymChelodina rugosa OGILBY 1889
Chelodina rugosa OGILBY 1890: 56
Chelodina siebenrocki WERNER 1901: 602
Chelodina oblonga — SIEBENROCK 1905
Chelodina intergularis FRY 1915
Chelodina siebenrocki — DE ROOIJ 1915: 316
Chelodina rugosa — WERMUTH & MERTENS 1977
Chelodina billabong — WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985 (nomen nudum)
Chelodina siebenrocki — ALDERTON 1988
Chelodina rugosa — ERNST & BARBOUR 1989
Chelodina rugosa — COGGER 2000: 192
Chelodina oblonga — COGGER 2000: 192
Chelodina siebenrocki — ISKANDAR & ERDELEN 2006
Chelodina rugosa — BONIN et al 2006
Chelodina siebenrocki — BONIN et al 2006
Macrochelodina rugosa — FRITZ & HAVAS 2007
Chelodina rugosa — ALACS et al. 2009
Chelodina (Macrochelodina) rugosa — GEORGES & THOMSON 2010
Chelodina oblonga — WILSOIN & SWAN 2010
Chelodina siebenrocki — AUER 2011
Chelodina (Macrochelodina) oblonga — TTWG 2014
Chelodina siebenrocki — CANN & SADLIER 2017
Chelodina rugosa — KEHLMAIER et al. 2019
Chelodina (Chelydera) rugosa — SHEA et al. 2020
Chelodina rugosa — TTWG 2021 
DistributionN Australia (from the Cape York Peninsula westward to the Kimberley District of W Australia; Northern Territory, Queensland, Western Australia)

Type locality: Cape York, Qld.

oblonga: SW-W Australia; Type locality: Western Australia.

siebenrocki: New Guinea (southern coast west of the Fly River, certain islands in the Torres Strait); type locality; Papua New Guinea.  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1947.3.5.89 (formerly; MCCORD & JOSEPH-OUNI (2007) designate Gray’s 1856 C. colliei lectotype (THOMSON, 2000; BMNH 1947.3.5.91) as the neotype of C. oblonga. However, McCord and Joseph-Ouni’s (2007) neotype designation for C. oblonga is invalid under the ICZN Code (see discussion in KUCHLING 2010) 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus Macrochelodina): “Macrochelodina is differentiated by having a generally broader head, a longer thicker neck with less obvious tubercles, and a narrower plastron” (fide MCCORD & JOSEPH-OUNI 2007; although this is a pretty useless diagnosis). 
CommentSynonymy mostly after GEORGES & THOMSON 2010 and S. Thomson, pers. comm., 27 May 2021. Kehlmair et al. 2019 determined that Chelodina oblonga is a nomen dubium and thus Chelodina rugosa is the correct name. However, Shea et al. resurrected C. oblonga, see that entry. C. siebenrocki is retained as a synonym by the Australian Society of Herpetology despite the fact that some authors considered it as valid. Depending on the species concept used, Chelodina rugosa and Chelodina burrungandjii can hybridized in their contact zone. See comments in the ASH List of 2022.

Type species: Chelodina oblonga is the type species of the genus Macrochelodina Wells and Wellington, 1985. Chelodina oblonga is also the type species of the genus Macrodiremys MCCORD & JOSEPH-OUNI 2007. Macrodiremys is a synonym of Macrochelodina, fide Shea et al. 2020.

Types: Note that FRITZ (2008) rejected the lectotype designation of Chelodina oblonga by McCord & Joseph-Ouni (2007) as invalid. See Kuchling (2010) for a more detailed discussion.

Habitat: freshwater (rivers, swamps) 
EtymologyPresumably named after the Latin rugosus (rough), in reference to the carapace texture. (G. Shea, pers. comm., 9 Feb 2024) 
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  • Seddon, J. M.;Georges, A.;Baverstock, P. R.;McCord, W. 1997. Phylogenetic relationships of chelid turtles (Pleurodira: Chelidae) based on mitochondrial 12S rRNA gene sequence variation. Mol Phylogenet Evol 7 (1): 55-61 - get paper here
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