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Elseya albagula THOMSON, GEORGES & LIMPUS, 2006

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Higher TaxaChelidae, Chelodininae, Pleurodira, Testudines (turtles)
Common NamesE: White-throated Snapping Turtle 
SynonymElseya stirlingi WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985 (nomen dubium)
Elseya albagula THOMSON, GEORGES & LIMPUS 2006
Elseya dentata albagula — ARTNER 2008
Elseya albagula — GEORGES & THOMSON 2010
Elseya (Pelocomastes) albagula — THOMSON et al. 2015
Elseya (Pelocomastes) albagula — TTWG 2017: 195 
DistributionAustralia (E Queensland)

Type locality: plunge pool at the downstream side of the Ned
Churchwood Weir, Burnett River, Queensland, Australia
(25°03’ S, 152°05’ E).  
TypesHolotype: QM J81785, adult female collected by Duncan Limpus on 24 October 2004. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: The largest extant species of Elseya, reaching carapace lengths of 420 mm. Belongs to the E. dentata generic group, and as such can be distinguished from all members of the E. latisternum generic group by the following combination of characters: parietal arch narrow, much narrower than the otic chamber; head shield does not extend from the dorsal surface of the skull down the parietal arch toward the tympanum; alveolar ridge present on the triturating surfaces of the mouth; intergular scute narrow, maximum width less than that of the gulars. Elseya albagula can be distinguished from species within the E. dentata generic group by the following combination of characters: skull robust but narrows acutely across the pterygoids behind the processus pterygoideus ext ernus; head shield deeply furrowed to the extent that osteologically there are also deep furrows in the dorsal surface of the skull of large adults; alveolar ridge on the triturating surfaces and underlying bone of the upper jaw very prominent, forming a complex with the equally prominent lingual ridge. This complex corresponds with prominent ridges and cavities in the lower jaw to form shearing surfaces; lingual ridge of maxilla expanded such that, in older specimens, it obscures the foramen praepalatinum in ventral view. Anterior carapace blunt, with the first and second marginal scutes approximately equal in their anterior extent in large individuals; carapace with serrated margin, most prominent in juveniles where serrations begin at the posterior edge of marginal 1; serrated margin persists into early adulthood; cervical scute absent, except as a rare variant; anterior plastron broad, not oval in outline; posterior bridge strut articulates with the carapace posterior to the midline of pleural 5 or on the junction of pleurals 5 and 6, rarely on pleural 6 alone.
CommentSynonymy: Elseya stirlingi WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985 is a subjective senior synonym and nomen dubium fide IVERSON et al. 2001. See also Elseya irwini.

Habitat: freshwater (rivers, swamps) 
EtymologyThe name albagula is derived from the Latin adjective ‘‘alba’’ meaning white (feminine) and the noun ‘‘gula’’ for throat, which is also feminine. Hence the name means ‘‘white throat,’’ and refers to the white or cream throat commonly seen in adult females of this species. 
  • Artner, H. 2008. The world's extant turtle species, Part 1. Emys 15 (3): 4-32
  • Bour, R. 2008. Global diversity of turtles (Chelonii; Reptilia) in freshwater. Hydrobiologia 595:593–598 - get paper here
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - get paper here
  • Georges, A. & Thomson, S. 2010. Diversity of Australasian freshwater turtles, with an annotated synonymy and keys to species. Zootaxa 2496: 1–37 - get paper here
  • HAMANN, M., SCHÄUBLE, C.S., EMERICK, S.P., LIMPUS, D.J. & LIMPUS, C.J. 2008. Freshwater turtle populations in the Burnett River. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 52 (2): 221-232 - get paper here
  • McDougall, A.J., Espinoza, T., Hollier, C. 2015. A Risk Assessment Approach to Manage Inundation of Elseya albagula Nests in Impounded Waters: A Win–Win Situation? Environmental Management 55, 715–724
  • Thomson, S.; Amepou, Y., Anamiato, J. & Georges, A. 2015. A new species and subgenus of Elseya (Testudines: Pleurodira: Chelidae) from New Guinea. Zootaxa 4006 (1): 059–082 - get paper here
  • Thomson, Scott, Arthur Georges and Colin J. Limpus 2006. A new species of freshwater turtle in the genus Elseya (Testudines: Chelidae) from Central Coastal Queensland, Australia. Chelonian Conserv. Biol. 5 (1): 74-86. - get paper here
  • Todd, Erica V.; David Blair, Sharon Farley, Lachlan Farrington, Nancy N. FitzSimmons, Arthur Georges, Colin J. Limpus and Dean R. Jerry 2013. Contemporary genetic structure reflects historical drainage isolation in an Australian snapping turtle, Elseya albagula. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 169 (1): 200–214 - get paper here
  • TTWG; Anders G.J. Rhodin, John B. iverson, Roger Bour, Uwe Fritz, Arthur GeoRges, H. BRadley Shaffer, and Peter Paul van Dijk 2017. Turtles of the World: Annotated Checklist and Atlas of Taxonomy, Synonymy, Distribution, and Conservation Status (8th Ed.). In: Rhodin, A.G.J., Iverson, J.B., van Dijk, P.P., Saumure, R.A., Buhlmann, K.A., Pritchard, P.C.H., and Mittermeier, R.A. (Ed Chelonian Research Monographs 7:1–292. doi: 10.3854/crm.7.checklist.atlas.v8.2017 - get paper here
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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