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Homopus areolatus (THUNBERG, 1787)

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Higher TaxaTestudinidae, Testudinoidea, Testudines (turtles)
Common NamesE: Parrot-beaked dwarf tortoise, Parrot-beaked Tortoise
G: Areolen-Flachschildkröte 
SynonymTestudo areolata THUNBERG 1787: 180
Testudo miniata LACÉPÈDE 1788: 166
Testudo fasciata DAUDIN 1802: 294
Testudo africana HERMANN 1804 (nomen illegitimum)
Chersine tetradactyla MERREM 1820
Testudo areolata var. pallida GRAY 1831
Testudo areolata — CUVIER 1831: 67
Homopus areolatus — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1835: 146
Testudo areolata — BELL 1836-1842
Homopus Areolatus — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1854: 222
Homopus areolatus — OUDEMANS 1895
Homopus areolatus — WERMUTH & MERTENS 1977: 68
Homopus areolatus — BOUR 1980
Homopus areolatus — FRITZ & BININDA-EMONDS 2007
Homopus areolatus — TTWG 2021 
DistributionRepublic of South Africa (Cape Province, north to 31°S latitude)

Type locality: "Indien" (in error).  
TypesHolotype: NRM (was ZIUS 298) 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus Homopus) (from Branch 2007): small African tortoises with the triturating surfaces of maxilla and premaxilla without ridges; maxillary not entering roof of palate; prootic narrowly exposed dorsally; quadrate enclosing stapes; centrum of third cervical biconvex; carapace without hinge; no submarginal scutes; gulars divided; and gular region only slightly thickened (Auffenberg 1974).
In addition to these features, the Aus tortoise (Homopus solus) possesses the following suite of characters that confirm its generic assignment to Homopus, and distinguish it from other tortoises in southern Africa: carapace depressed, with a distinct nuchal (c.f. Stigmochelys), paired gulars (c.f. Chersina) that are broader than long (c.f. Psammobates), and without a carapace hinge (c.f. Kinixys). 
CommentIllustration in Elaphe 8 (4): 3 and Elaphe 10 (1): 23 [2002].

Type Species: Testudo areolata THUNBERG 1787 is the type species of the genus Homopus. 
  • Baard, E.H.W. 1996. Inter- and Intra-Individual Variation in the measurement of southern Padloper Homopus areolatus. African Herp News (25): 22-25 - get paper here
  • Bates, M.F.; Branch, W.R., Bauer, A.M.; Burger, M., Marais, J.; Alexander, G.J. & de Villliers, M.S. (eds.) 2014. Atlas and Red List of the Reptiles of South Africa, Lesotho, and Swaziland. Suricata 1. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, 512 pp.
  • Bell, T. 1836. A monograph of the Testudinata. London, 1836-1842 (sometimes given as 1832-1836, not date given, unnumbered pages) - get paper here
  • 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. 1980. Essai sur la taxinomie des Testudinidae actuels (Reptilia, Chelonii). Bull. Mus. natl. Hist. nat. Paris (4) 2 (2): 541-546
  • Branch, William R. 1993. A Photographic Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Southern Africa. Cape Town: Struik Publishers, 144 S.
  • Broschell, S. 2000. Leben und Fortpflanzung der Areolen-Flachschildkröte Homopus areolatus (THUNBERG, 1787). Sauria 22 (3): 3-9 - get paper here
  • Cuvier, G. 1831. The Animal Kingdom arranged in conformity with its organization, by the Baron Cuvier, ... with additional descriptions of all the species hitherto named, and of many not before noticed, by Edward Griffith... and others. Vol. 9. Whittaker, Treacher and Co., London, 481 pp. - get paper here
  • Daudin, F. M. 1801. Histoire Naturelle, Générale et Particulière des Reptiles; ouvrage faisant suit à l'Histoire naturell générale et particulière, composée par Leclerc de Buffon; et rédigee par C.S. Sonnini, membre de plusieurs sociétés savantes. Vol. 2. F. Dufart, Paris, 432 pp. [publication date fide Harper 1940] - get paper here
  • Duméril, A. M.C., G. BIBRON & A. DUMÉRIL 1854. Erpétologie générale ou Histoire Naturelle complète des Reptiles. Vol. 9. Paris, XX + 440 S. - 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
  • Fleck, J. & Fleck, S. 2001. Erfolgreiche Nachzucht von Chersina angulata und Homopus areolatus über mehrere Jahre. Elaphe 9 (3): 5-14
  • Fraser M. 2023. Reptiles and Amphibians of the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, Western Cape, South Africa. Biodiversity Observations 13: 162–185. 14 March 2023
  • Fritz, U., Tolley, K. A., Vamberger, M., & Ihlow, F. 2022. Phylogeny and phylogeography of chelonians from sub-Saharan Africa—A review of current knowledge in tribute to Margaretha D. Hofmeyr. Vertebrate Zoology, 72: 951-969 - get paper here
  • Fritz, Uwe and Olaf R.P. Bininda-Emonds 2007. When genes meet nomenclature: Tortoise phylogeny and the shifting generic concepts of Testudo and Geochelone. Zoology 110 (4): 298-307 [erratum in vol. 111 (1): 84] - get paper here
  • Gorseman, P. 1980. Opmerkingen over biotoop en voortplanting van Homopus areolatus. Lacerta 38 (10-11): 107-111 - get paper here
  • Greig, J.C., and P.D. Burdett. 1976. Patterns in the distributions of Southern African terrestrial tortoises (Cryptodira: Testudinidae). Zool. Africana 11(2): 250-267.
  • Hofmeyr, Margaretha D. & William R. Branch 2018. The padloper’s tortuous path (Chelonia: Testudinidae): Two genera, not one. African Journal of Herpetology 67 (2): 99-112 - get paper here
  • Hofmeyr, Margaretha D.; Flora Ihlow, Pierre Fouche et al. 2020. Niche divergence corresponds to genetic differentiation within the parrotbeaked tortoise Homopus areolatus Reptilia Testudinidae endemic to South Africa. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 190(4): 1256-1273 - get paper here
  • Hofmeyr, Margaretha D.; Melita Vamberger, William Branch, Alfred Schleicher and Savel R. Daniels 2016. Tortoise (Reptilia, Testudinidae) radiations in Southern Africa from the Eocene to the present. Zoologica Scripta 46: 389–400, DOI: 10.1111/zsc.12223 [Record online: 18 NOV 2016] - get paper here
  • Hoogmoed, M.S. 1980. Herpetologische waarnemingen in Ghana [part 8]. Lacerta 38 (10-11): 112-116 - get paper here
  • Hughes, B. 1986. Longevity Records of African Captive Amphibians and Reptiles: Part 1: Introduction and Species List 1 - Amphibians and Chelonians. J. Herp. Assoc. Africa (32): 1-5 - get paper here
  • Lacépède, B. G. E. 1788. Histoire Naturelle des Quadrupe des Ovipares et des Serpens. Vol.1. Imprimerie du Roi, Hôtel de Thou, Paris, xvii + 651 pp. - get paper here
  • Loveridge, Arthur & Williams, Ernest E. 1957. Revision of the African Tortoises and Turtles of the Suborder Cryptodira. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 115 (6): 163-557 - get paper here
  • Oudemans, J.Th. 1895. Einige Bemerkungen über zwei südafrikanische Schildkröten. Zool. Anz. 18: 321-324 - get paper here
  • Schleicher, A. 2005. Homopus areolatus - The Parrot-Beaked Tortoise. Reptilia (GB) (43): 26-30 - get paper here
  • Schleicher, A. 2005. Die Areolen-Flachschildkröte, Homopus areolatus (THUNBERG 1787). Beobachtungen und Erfahrungen: Lebensweise, Haltung, Nach- und Aufzucht. Reptilia (Münster) 10 (56): 36-40 - get paper here
  • Thunberg, C. P. 1787. Beskrifning pé Trenne Skölpaddor [Description of two new turtles]. Kongl. Vetenskaps Academiens Nya Handlingar, För M_naderne 1787 (Julius, Augustus, September): 178-180 - get paper here
  • Thunberg, C.P. 1785. Museum naturalium Academiae Upsaliensis . . . Praeside C.P. Thunberg, AC. Kongliga Svenska Vetenskaps-Academiens. Handlingar. Uppsala. 33 pts with irregular pagination [According to Auffenberg 1974, Bull. Florida State Mus. 18(3):233, parts 1-8, 30-33, and appendix 1-6, 15, and 24 relate to Zoological Specimens. Pagination is irregular; parts 1-11 are pp. 1-191, and parts 1
  • TTWG; Rhodin, A.G.J., Iverson, J.B., Bour, R., Fritz, U., Georges, A., Shaffer, H.B., and van Dijk, P.P. 2021. Turtles of the World: Annotated Checklist and Atlas of Taxonomy, Synonymy, Distribution, and Conservation Status (9th Ed.). In: Rhodin, A.G.J., Iverson, J.B., van Dijk, P.P., Stanford, C.B., Goode, E.V., Buhlmann, K.A., and Mittermeier, R.A. (Eds.). Chelonian Research Monographs 8:1–472. doi:10.3854/crm.8.checklist.atlas.v9.2021. - get paper here
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