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Chelus fimbriata (SCHNEIDER, 1783)

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Higher TaxaChelidae, Chelinae, Pleurodira, Testudines (turtles)
Common NamesE: Amazon Mata Mata
G: Matamata, Fransenschildkröte
Portuguese: mata-mata amazônica
Spanish: matamata amazonica, matamata del Amazonas 
SynonymTestudo terrestris FERMIN 1765 (nomen oblitum, non T. terrestris Forskål 1775)
Testudo fimbriata SCHNEIDER 1783
Testudo torticollis FERREIRA 1784 (manuscript, see CERÍACO & BAUER 2017)
Testudo fimbria GMELIN 1789 (nomen subst. pro T. fimbriata SCHNEIDER)
Testudo matamata BRUGUIÈRE 1792
Testudo bi-spinosa DAUDIN 1802
Testudo rapara GRAY 1831 (nomen nudum)
Testudo fimbriata — CUVIER 1831: 17
Chelys Matamata — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1835: 455
Testudo raparara GRAY 1844 (nomen nudum)
Testudo raxarara GRAY 1855 (nomen nudum)
Chelys fimbriata — GÜNTHER 1882
Chelys fimbriata — BOULENGER 1889
Chelus fimbriatus — MERTENS 1934
Chelus fimbriata — IVERSON 1992
Chelus fimbriatus — GORZULA & SEÑARIS 1999
Chelus fimbriatus — RIVAS et al. 2012
Chelus fimbriata — TTWG 2014
Chelus fimbriatus — CERÍACO & BAUER 2017 
DistributionUSA (introduced to Florida)

N Bolivia, E Peru, Ecuador, E Colombia, Venezuela,
Guyana, French Guiana, Suriname, N/C Brazil (Amazonas, Pará), Trinidad

Type locality: Uprouague (Aprouague) and Remire Island, French Guiana.  
TypesHolotype: unlocated (IVERSON 1992) 
CommentType species: Testudo fimbriata SCHNEIDER 1783 is the type species of the genus Chelus DUMÉRIL 1806: 76 (fide WERMUT & MERTENS 1977: 124).

Habitat: freshwater (swamps)

Distribution: the range of C. fimbriatus has been restricted to the Amazon Basin and the Mahury drainage by Vargas-Ramirez et al. 2020, who split off a new sspecies. C. orinocensis, from the remaining range. For a range map see Vargas-Ramirez et al. 2020. 
  • 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
  • Büttner, Enrico. 2014. Abnormally shaped eggs in clutches of the Matamata, Chelus fimbriata (Schneider, 1783), in my care. Radiata 23 (2): 30-34
  • CATENAZZI, A., LEHR, E. & VON MAY, R. 2013. The amphibians and reptiles of Manu National Park and its buffer zone, Amazon basin and eastern slopes of the Andes, Peru. Biota Neotrop. 13(4): 269-283
  • Ceríaco L.M.P. and Bauer A.M. 2017. "Testudo torticollis," an unpublished name for the Matamata, Chelus fimbriatus (Schneider, 1783) (Testudines: Chelidae), with comments on early illustrations of the species. Bibliotheca Herpetologica 13 (1-2): 35-49 - get paper here
  • Cisneros-Heredia, D.F. 2006. Turtles of the Tiputini Biodiversity Station with remarks on the diversity and distribution of the Testudines from Ecuador. Biota Neotrop. 6 (1): 1-16 - get paper here
  • Cole, Charles J.; Carol R. Townsend, Robert P. Reynolds, Ross D. MacCulloch, and Amy Lathrop 2013. Amphibians and reptiles of Guyana, South America: illustrated keys, annotated species accounts, and a biogeographic synopsis. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 125 (4): 317-578; plates: 580-620 - get paper here
  • Duellman, W. E. 1978. The biology of an equatorial herpetofauna in Amazonian Ecuador. Misc. Publ. Univ. Kans. Mus. Nat. Hist. 65: 1-352 - 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
  • Ernst,C.H. and Barbour,R.W. 1989. Turtles of the World. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C. - London
  • Gaffney, Eugene S. 1977. The side-necked turtle family Chelidae: a theory of relationships using shared derived characters. American Museum Novitates (2620): 1-28 - get paper here
  • Gorzula, Stefan & Senaris, J. Celsa 1999. In: Contribution to the herpetofauna of the Venezuelan Guayana. I: a data base. Scientia Guaianae, Caracas, No. 8 [1998], 269+ pp.; ISBN 980-6020-48-0
  • Günther, Albert 1882. Observations on some rare Reptiles and a Batrachian now or lately living in the Society's Menagerie. Transactions of the Zoological Society of London 11 (7): 215-222, 5 plates (2 in color)
  • Gutsche, Alexander 2012. Die Fransenschildkröte oder Mata-Mata. Terraria-Elaphe 2012 (2): 76-77 - get paper here
  • Herz, M. 2014. Begegnungen mit Schildkröten im venezolanischen Bundesstaat Amazonas. Teil 1: Wasserschildkröten. Reptilia (Münster) 19 (110): 52-59
  • Joyce, Walter G.; James F. Parham , Tyler R. Lyson , Rachel C. M. Warnock and Philip C. J. Donoghue 2013. A Divergence Dating Analysis of Turtles Using Fossil Calibrations: An Example of Best Practices. Journal of Paleontology, 87(4):612-634 - get paper here
  • Kabisch, K. 1997. Ein ungewöhnlich großer Knochenpanzer von Chelus fimbriatus. Sauria 19 (1): 45-46 - get paper here
  • Kemp, T.S. 2019. Reptiles: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press, 144 pp. - get paper here
  • Krysko, K.K.; Enge, K.M.; Donlan, E.M.; Golden, E.Z.; Burgess, J.P. & Larson, K.W. 2009. THE NON-MARINE HERPETOFAUNA OF KEY BISCAYNE, FLORIDA. Herp. Cons. Biol. 5 (1):132-142 - get paper here
  • Lemell, Patrick; Beisser, Christian Josef; Gumpenberger, Michaela; Snelderwaard, Peter; Gemel, Richard; Weisgram, Josef 2010. The feeding apparatus of Chelus fimbriatus (Pleurodira; Chelidae) - adaptation perfected? Amphibia-Reptilia 31: 97-107 - get paper here
  • Mertens, R. 1969. Bemerkungen über einige Halswender-Schildkröten. Senckenbergiana biologica 50: 31-38
  • Morato, S.A.A.; Calixto, P.O.; Mendes, L.R.; Gomes, R.; Galatti, U.; Trein, F.L.; Oliveira, F.S.; Ferreira, G.N. 2014. Guia fotográfico de identificação da herpetofauna da Floresta Nacional de Saracá-Taquera, Estado do Pará. Curitiba: STCP Engenharia de Projetos Ltda.; Porto Trombetas: MRN – Mineração Rio do Norte S.A.; 213 p. - get paper here
  • RIVAS, GILSON A.; CÉSAR R. MOLINA, GABRIEL N. UGUETO, TITO R. BARROS, CÉSAR L. BAR- RIO-AMORÓS & PHILIPPE J. R. KOK 2012. Reptiles of Venezuela: an updated and commented checklist. Zootaxa 3211: 1–64 - get paper here
  • Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R.; Pritchard, Peter C. H.; Paolillo, Alfredo; Linares, Omar J. 1995. Geographic variation in the matamata turtle, Chelus fimbriatus, with observations on its shell morphology and morphometry. Chelonian Conserv. Biol. 1 (4): 293-300
  • Schaefer, I. 1986. Haltung und Nachzucht der Fransenschildkröte Chelus fimbriatus (SCHNEIDER 1783). Salamandra 22 (4): 229-241 - get paper here
  • Schmidt, A. A. 1966. Morphologische Unterschiede bei Chelus fimbriatus verschiedener Herkunft. Salamandra 2 (3): 74-78 - get paper here
  • Schneider, J. G. 1783. Allgemeine Naturgeschichte der Schildkröten, nebst einem Systematischen Verseichnisse der einzelnen Arten. Müller, Leipzig. xlviii + 364 p. - get paper here
  • Souza, Franco L. 2004. Uma revisão sobre padrões de atividade, reprodução e alimentação de cágados brasileiros (Testudines, Chelidae) [A review on activity patterns, reproduction, and feeding habits in Brazilian chelid turtles (Testudines, Chelidae)]. Phyllomedusa 3 (1): 15-28 - get paper here
  • Thomson, Robert C.; Andrew M. Shedlock, Scott V. Edwards and H. Bradley Shaffer 2008. Developing markers for multilocus phylogenetics in non-model organisms: A test case with turtles. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 49 (2): 514-525 - get paper here
  • Torres-Carvajal O, Pazmiño-Otamendi G, Salazar-Valenzuela D. 2019. Reptiles of Ecuador: a resource-rich portal, with a dynamic checklist and photographic guides. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 13 (1): [General Section]: 209–229 (e178) - get paper here
  • Trutnau, L. 1987. Ein Beitrag zur Lebensgeschichte der Fransenschildkröte Chelus fimbriatus (SCHNEIDER 1783). Herpetofauna 9 (49): 6-10 - 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
  • Valverde, J. 2009. Südamerikanische Schildkröten. Reptilia (Münster) 14 (80): 16-27 - get paper here
  • Valverde, J. 2010. Schlangenhalsschildkröten. Reptilia (Münster) 15 (85): 16-23 [erratum in 86: 10] - get paper here
  • Vargas-Ramírez, Mario; Susana Caballero, Mónica A. Morales-Betancourt, Carlos A. Lasso, Laura Amaya, José Gregorio Martínez, Maria das Neves Silva Viana, Richard C. Vogt, Izeni Pires Farias, Tomas Hrbek, Patrick D. Campbell, Uwe Fritz, 2020. Genomic analyses reveal two species of the matamata (Testudines: Chelidae: Chelus spp.) and clarify their phylogeography. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 106823 - get paper here
  • Winkler, J.D. 2006. Testing phylogenetic implications of eggshell characters in side-necked turtles (Testudines: Pleurodira). Zoology 109: 127-136 - get paper here
  • Wood, R.C. 1976. Two new species of Chelus (Testudines: Pleurodira) from the late Tertiary of northern South America. Breviora (435): 1-26 - get paper here
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