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Chrysemys picta (SCHNEIDER, 1783)

IUCN Red List - Chrysemys picta - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaEmydidae, Deirochelyinae, Testudinoidea, Testudines (turtles)
SubspeciesChrysemys picta picta (SCHNEIDER 1783)
Chrysemys picta bellii (GRAY 1831)
Chrysemys picta marginata AGASSIZ 1857 
Common NamesE: Painted Turtle
picta: Eastern Painted Turtle
bellii: Western Painted Turtle
marginata: Midland Painted Turtle
G: Zierschildkröte
S: Tortuga Pinta 
SynonymTestudo picta SCHNEIDER 1783: 348
Hydrochelys picta WAGLER 1821
Emys Picta — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1835: 297
Chrysemys picta — GRAY 1855
Chrysemys picta — STEBBINS 1985: 100
Trachemys picta — LEVER 2003
Chrysemys picta — CROTHER 2000
Chrysemys picta — TTWG 2014

Chrysemys picta picta (SCHNEIDER 1783)
Testudo cinerea BONNATERRE 1789
Chrysemys cinerea — BOULENGER 1889
Chrysemys picta picta — BISHOP & SCHMIDT 1931
Chrysemys picta picta — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 71
Chrysemys picta picta — CROTHER 2000
Chrysemys picta picta — HENNIG 2013

Chrysemys picta bellii (GRAY 1831)
Emys bellii GRAY 1831
Emys Bellii — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1835: 302
Emys oregoniensis HARLAN 1837
Chrysemys nuttallii AGASSIZ 1857: 439
Chrysemys pulchra GRAY 1873: 147
Chrysemys Bellii — GRAY 1873: 147
Chrysemys oregonensis — MONKS 1877: 199
Chrysemys cinerea var. bellii — BOULENGER 1889
Chrysemys treleasei HURTER 1911
Chrysemys picta bellii — BISHOP & SCHMIDT 1931
Chrysemys bellii bellii — BURT 1935
Chrysemys picta belli — HULSE 1980
Chrysemys picta belli — STEBBINS 1985: 100
Chrysemys picta bellii — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 72
Chrysemys picta bellii — LINER 1994:31
Chrysemys picta bellii — CROTHER 2000
Chrysemys picta bellii — OBST 2003: 12
Chrysemys picta bellii — VALVERDE 2011
Chrysemys picta bellii — LEGLER & VOGT 2013

Chrysemys picta marginata AGASSIZ 1857
Chrysemys marginata AGASSIZ 1857
Chrysemys picta marginata — BISHOP & SCHMIDT 1931
Chrysemys bellii marginata — CONANT 1938
Chrysemys marginata — WILLIAMS 1959
Chrysemys picta marginata — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 71
Chrysemys picta marginata — CROTHER 2000
Chrysemys picta marginata — HENNIG 2010: 24
Chrysemys picta marginata — HENNNG 2011
Chrysemys picta marginata — HENNNG 2015 
DistributionS Canada (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta ?, British Columbia),
USA (Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Tennessee, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New York, New Hampshire, Maine, scattered in W Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, introduced to Florida and California),
Mexico (Chihuahua)

introduced to the Philippines, Germany, Indonesia, Spain (Rhodin et al. 2010), incl. Mallorca (PINYA & CARRETERO 2011).

Type locality: Lancaster, Philadelphia, USA (designated by MITLLEMAN 1945).

belli: S Canada (Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan), USA (Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan,Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska,New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming), Mexico (Chihuahua); Type locality: “Manhattan, Kansas” (designated by K.P. SCHMIDT 1953).

marginata: SE Canada (Ontario, Québec), E USA (Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, New York, Ohio,Pennsylvania, Tennessee, West Virginia)

oregoniensis: Oregon, Type locality: Oregon River.

picta: Canada (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Quebec), USA (Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia)  
ReproductionC. picta shows temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD). 
TypesSyntype: MCZ R-1764
Syntype: MCZ [bellii]
Syntype: USNM 21, MCZ [dorsalis]
Syntypes: USNM 49427-49429 [treleasei]
Syntypes: INHS (= UIMNH) 41529, MCZ 1796, UMMZ 63519 [marginata]
Holotype: ANSP 165 [oregoniensis] 
CommentPhysiology: Chrysemys picta marginata is the first reptile which has been shown to survive freezing to as low as -8 degrees Celsius (Diamond 1989). These turtles hatch in autumn and overwinter in nests in shallow soil. The cryoprotectant used is a mix of glucose, glycerol and amino acids (particularly taurine). However, Packard et al. (1997) state that they they remain supercooled and unfrozen and can bear only temperatures as low as minus 3-4°C and therefore experiments with pets should be done with exterme care;-)

Distribution: not in Alberta (but close to the border in Montana) fide Barela & Olson 2014.

Taxonomy: Please note that STARKEY et al. (2003) suggested to elevate C. p. dorsalis to full species status. These authors also questioned the validity of the other subspecies. Because morphological intermediate specimens are known between C. dorsalis and C. p. picta, C. p. marginata, and C. p. bellii (Ernst, 1967, 1970, and others), the taxonomy of dorsalis is debatable (Reynolds et al. 2007, TTWG 2012).

Genome: The genome of Ch. picta has been sequenced by Shaffer et al. 2013. See also Abramyan et al. 2013.

Karytoype: Montiel et al. (2016) identified a macro-chromosome XX/XY system in the GSD wood turtle Glyptemys insculpta, the youngest known sex chromosomes in chelonians (8–20 My old). Comparative analyses show that their X/Y is homologous to chromosome 4 of Chrysemys picta, chromosome 5 of Gallus gallus (chicken), and thus to the X/Y sex chromosomes of Siebenrockiella crassicollis.

Type species: Testudo picta SCHNEIDER 1783: 348 is the type species of the genus Chrysemys GRAY 1844: 27.

Habitat: freshwater (lakes, rivers) 
EtymologyThe genus name means “golden turtle” (emys = tortoise); referring to the yellow head and shell markings.
The species was named after the colorful carapacial pattern (picta, Latin for painted). 
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