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Chelonia mydas (LINNAEUS, 1758)

IUCN Red List - Chelonia mydas - Endangered, EN

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Higher TaxaCheloniidae (Carettinae), Chelonioidea, Testudines (turtles)
Common NamesE: Green Seaturtle, Green Turtle; agassizii: Black Sea Turtle
G: Suppenschildkröte; agassizii: Schwarze Suppenschildkröte
Croatian: zelena želva
Chinese: 绿海龟
S: Tortuga Blanca de Mar 
SynonymTestudo mydas LINNAEUS 1758: 197
Testudo macropus WALBAUM 1782 (nomen illegitimum)
Testudo viridis SCHNEIDER 1783
Testudo japonica THUNBERG 1787: 178
Testudo marina vulgaris LACÉPÈDE 1788 (nomen subst. pro T. mydas L.)
Testudo cepediana DAUDIN 1802
Testudo rugosa DAUDIN 1802 (non Testudo rugosa SHAW)
Chelonia midas — LINK 1807
Chelonia mydas — SCHWEIGGER 1812
Chelonia virgata SCHWEIGGER 1812
Caretta esculenta MERREM 1820
Caretta cepedii MERREM 1820 (nomen subst. pro T. cepediana DAUDIN)
Caretta thunbergi MERREM 1820 (nomen subst. pro T. japonica THUNBERG)
Chelonia lachrymata CUVIER 1829
Chelonia castanea ESCHSCHOLTZ 1829: 11
Chelonia grisea ESCHSCHOLTZ 1829
Chelonia maculosa CUVIER 1829
Testudo Mydas — CUVIER 1831: 15
Chelonia mydas [var.] japonica, GRAY 1831
Chelonia bicarinata LESSON 1834 (in BÉLANGER)
Chelonia Midas — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1835: 538
Chelonia Virgata — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1835: 541
Chelonia maculosa — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1835: 544
Chelonia Marmorata DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1835: 546
Euchelus macropus GIRARD 1858
Chelonia formosa GIRARD 1858
Chelonia tenuis GIRARD 1858
Chelonia albiventer NARDO 1864
Chelonia virgata — GÜNTHER 1864: 53
Thalassiochelys albiventer — GÜNTHER 1865 (Zool. Rec. 1864: 148)
Chelonia midas — BOCAGE 1866 (ex errore)
Chelonia agassizii BOCOURT 1868
Chelonia mydas agassizi BOCOURT 1868
Chelonia agassizi BOCOURT 1868: 122
Mydas viridis GRAY 1870
Chelonia agassizii — GRAY 1873: 113
Chelonia virgata — MURRAY 1886: 11
Chelone virgata — BOULENGER 1887: 407
Chelonia lata PHILIPPI 1887
Chelone mydas — BOULENGER 1889: 180
Chelonia japonica — STEJNEGER 1907: 509
Natator tessellatus MCCULLOCH 1908: 127
Chelonia japonica — GARMAN 1908: 8
Chelonia japonica — STEJNEGER 1910
Chelonia virgata — BARBOUR 1918: 488
Chelonia mydas mydas — MERTENS & MÜLLER 1928
Chelonia mydas japonica — SHANNON 1956
Chelonia mydas carrinegra CALDWELL 1962
Chelonia mydas carrinegra — HARDY 1969
Chelonia mydas — STEBBINS 1985: 105
Chelonia mydas agassizii — STEBBINS 1985: 105
Chelonia mydas — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 76
Chelonia mydas — ENGELMANN et al. 1993
Chelonia agassizii — LINER 1994
Chelonia mydas — GLAW & VENCES 1994: 229
Chelonia mydas — COGGER 2000: 180
Chelonia agassizzii [sic] — LEHR 2002: 201
Chelonia agassizii — BONIN et al 2006
Chelonia mydas agassizii — FRITZ & HAVAS 2007
Chelonia mydas mydas — FRITZ & HAVAS 2007
Chelonia mydas japonica — PAWLOWSKI & KRÄMER 2008
Chelonia mydas — MATA-SILVA et al. 2015
Chelonia mydas — SPAWLS et al. 2018:
Chelonia agassizii — KAWAZU et al. 2018 
DistributionAtlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans, chiefly in the tropics.

Europe: Adriatic Sea (Croatia ?), Italy (occasional occurence [E. RAZZETTI, pers. comm.]) Turkey [Basoglu 1973], France, Portugal

Indian Ocean: Madagascar, Comoro Islands (Grande Comore, Mohélim Anjouan, Mayotte), Chagos Archipelago

Chinese Sea: Vietnam, Abkhazia

Pacific: as far north as Alaska and in the

Atlantic Ocean: as far north as Great Britain, Gambia

Africa: Republic of South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, Egypt Sudan, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Ivory Coast

Middle East: Iraq

Australia (New South Wales?, Northern Territory, Queensland, Western Australia), Nauru?

Americas: Canada (British Columbia), USA (incl. New York, Texas),
SE Mexico (Chiapas, Oaxaca, Yucatan, Quintana Roo, Campeche, Baja California, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas, Jalisco, Guerrero, Nayarit, Sonora), Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia [Castro,F. (pers. comm.)], Brazil (Ceará, Rio de Janeiro etc.), Argentina (Chubut etc.), Uruguay

Asia: Korea, India (Gujarat, Kerala, Andaman Islands, Nicobar Islands

mydas: Atlantic Ocean

agassizi: eastern Pacific Ocean, Galapagos Islands; Iran, Hawaii (USA) and Papua New Guinea; Type locality: "l'en bouchure du Nagualated, dans le Pacifique (Guatémala)" [Embayment of Río Nagualate, Guatemala]

japonica: Indian and Western Pacific Ocean

acording to the 1994 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals:
EC/NE/NW/SE/SW/WC Atlantic, Indian Ocean eastern, Indian Ocean
western, Mediterranean and Black Sea, EC/NW/SW/WC Pacific, American Samoa, Angola, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belize, Benin, Brazil, British Indian Ocean Territory, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Guiana, French Polynesia, Gabon, Ghana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guam, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kuwait, Liberia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Martinique, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mayotte, Mexico (Chiapas, etc.), Montserrat, Mozambique, Myanmar (= Burma), Netherlands Antilles, New Caledonia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Niue, Northern Marianas, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Reunion, Sao Tome & Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Sri Lanka, St Helena, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent, Sudan, Suriname, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tokelau, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Turks and Caicos Islands, Tuvalu, US Minor Pacific Islands, USA (Washington; Western Atlantic: Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts,
Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida), United Arab Emirates, Vanuatu, Venezuela,
Viet Nam, Virgin Islands (British), Virgin Islands (US), Western Sahara, Western Samoa, Yemen, Zaire, Namibia

Type locality: “insulas Pelagi: insularum Adscensionis" [The Pelagie Islands and Ascencion Island]; restricted to Ascension Is., see Mertens, R. & Müller, L. (1928)  
ReproductionChelonia mydas has temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD, STANDORA & SPOTILA 1986, SARRE et al. 2004). FRITZ (1995) reports hybrids between between Chelonia mydas and Eretmochelys imbricata. Koo et al. (2014) report hybrids between Chelonia mydas and Caretta caretta (see also NCBI taxID 2305479). 
TypesSyntypes: NRM (NHRM) 19, 26, and 231, according to Iverson (1992:84), not UUZM (= ZMUU = ZIUU) 20 as stated by Smith & Smith 1979: 269;
Syntypes: lost, fide Flores-Villela et al. 2016 [Chelonia castanea]
Syntypes: MNHN-RA 9537 is type of Chelonia agassizi so possible syntype; Syntypes: MNHN-RA 1871.0072 [now misplaced, according to Stuart, 1963]. Holotype stated to be MNHN 9537 by Iverson (1992:83) which is in accordance with MNHN catalogues (Bour 2006) [agassizi]
Holotype: USNM 257184 [Chelonia tenuis]
Holotype: USNM 257183 [Chelonia formosa] 
CommentSome recent authors (e.g. E.A. Liner 1994) list Chelonia agassizii as a valid species. C. mydas japonica is listed as a synonym of C. mydas by FRITZ & HAVAS 2007.

Habitat: marine.

Conservation status: endangered

Genomics: this is one of the species selected by the Genome 10K consortium for complete genome sequencing and a draft genome has been published in 2013 (Wang et al. 2013).

Type species: Testudo mydas LINNAEUS 1758: 197 is the type species of the genus Chelonia LATREILLE 1802: 22. Natator tessellatus MCCULLOCH 1908 is the type species of the genus Natator MCCULLOCH 1908.

Synonymy: Chelonia mydas is a highly variable species, hence recent authors do not recognize subspecies any more. 
EtymologyThe name Chelonia is formed from the Greek word chelone (tortoise or turtle).

The name mydas is formed from the Greek word mydos (dampness) and refers to the aquatic habitat of this species. 
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