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Emydura australis (GRAY, 1841)

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Higher TaxaChelidae, Chelodininae, Pleurodira, Testudines (turtles)
Common NamesE: Australian Big-headed Side-necked Turtle 
SynonymHydraspis australis GRAY in GREY 1841
Chelymys australis — GRAY 1871: 366
Emydura australis — BOULENGER 1889: 232
Emydura australis — WERMUTH & MERTENS 1961: 319
Emydura australis — GOODE 1967: 79, 136
Emydura australis — MERTENS 1969
Emydura australis — WERMUTH & MERTENS 1977: 127
Emydura australis — ERNST & BARBOUR 1989
Emydura australis — COGGER 2000: 740
Emydura australis — BONIN et al 2006
Emydura australis — KEHLMAIER et al. 2019 
DistributionAustralia (Western Australia: drainages of the Kimberley region, Northern Territory)

Type locality: "West Australia” (probably N Western Australia, but specific location unknown)  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1947.3.4.36 
CommentSynonymy: COGGER (1983) synonymized E. australis with E. macquarri. E. australis is mentioned by BURKE & KING 1989 and considered as synonymous to Emydura macquarrii by MCCORD et al. (2003). Kehlmaier et al. 2019 state that “the differentiation of the mitogenome of the holotype of H. australis suggests that it is distinct from E. macquarii and may thus represent a valid species” and later (p. 9) consider it “to represent a valid species”.

Diet: The species eats a variety of plant and animal food. Plant food includes figs (Legler, 1976). Animal food includes molluscs (Legler, 1976).

Karyotype: The karyotype of this species consists of 50 chromosomes grading from large to small with all the large chromosomes being bi-armed (Bull and Legler, 1980).

Habitat: freshwater (rivers, swamps) 
  • Bonin, F., Devaux, B. & Dupré, A. 2006. Turtles of the World. English translation by P.C.H. Pritchard. Johns Hopkins University Press, 416 pp.
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1889. Catalogue of the chelonians, rhynchocephalians, and crocodiles in the British Museum (Natural History). British Museum, London, 311 pp.
  • Cann, John 1998. Australian Freshwater Turtles. Beaumont Publishing, Singapore: 292 pp.
  • Cann, John; Ross Sadlier 2017. FRESHWATER TURTLES OF AUSTRALIA. CSIRO Publishing, 464 pp. - get paper here
  • Cogger H.G., Cameron EE & Cogger HM 1983. Zoological Catalogue of Australia, Volume 1: AMPHIBIA AND REPTILIA. Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.
  • Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • Ernst,C.H. and Barbour,R.W. 1989. Turtles of the World. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C. - London
  • Goode, J. 1967. Freshwater tortoises of Australia and New Guinea. Lansdowne Press, Melbourne 154 pp.
  • Gray, J. E. 1871. Notes on Australian freshwater tortoises. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (4) 8: 366 - get paper here
  • Gray, J.E. 1841. A catalogue of the species of reptiles and Amphibia hitherto described as inhabiting Australia, with a description of some new species from Western Australia. Appendix E, pp. 422-449. In: G. Grey, Journals of Two Expeditions of Discovery in Northwest T. and W. Boone, London. Vol. 2: 422-449 + plates - get paper here
  • Kehlmaier, C., Zhang, X., Georges, A., Campbell, P. D., Thomson, S., & Fritz, U. 2019. Mitogenomics of historical type specimens of Australasian turtles: clarification of taxonomic confusion and old mitochondrial introgression. Scientific Reports, 9(1): 5841 - get paper here
  • Mertens, R. 1969. Bemerkungen über einige Halswender-Schildkröten. Senckenbergiana biologica 50: 31-38
  • Wermuth, H., and R. Mertens. 1961. Schildkröten, Krokodile, Brückenechsen. Gustav Fischer Verlag, Jena. xxvi + 422 pp.
  • Wermuth, H., and R. Mertens. 1977. Liste der rezenten Amphibien und Reptilien. Testudines, Crocodylia, Rhynchocephalia. Das Tierreich. Berlin. 100: i-xxvii, 1-174 - get paper here
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