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Mesoclemmys dahli (ZANGERL & MEDEM, 1958)

IUCN Red List - Mesoclemmys dahli - Critically Endangered, CR

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Higher TaxaChelidae, Chelinae, Pleurodira, Testudines (turtles)
Common NamesE: Dahl’s Toadhead Turtle 
SynonymPhrynops (Batrachemys) dahli ZANGERL & MEDEM 1958
Phrynops (Batrachemys) dahli — ALDERTON 1988
Phrynops dahli — ERNST & BARBOUR 1989
Batrachemys dahli — MCCORD et al. 2001
Batrachemys dahli — MCCORD & JOSEPH-OUNI 2002
Mesoclemmys dahli — BOUR & ZAHER 2005
Batrachemys (Phrynops) dahli — BONIN et al 2006
Batrachemys dahli — VAN DIJK et al. 2011
Mesoclemmys dahli — TTWG 2021 
DistributionColombia (Bolivar)

Type locality: "Vicinity of Sincelejo, Bolivar, Colombia".  
TypesHolotype: FMNH 75980. 
CommentConsidered a subspecies of Phrynops nasutus by Wermuth and Mertens 1977. For a color illustration and distribution map see MCCORD & JOSEPH-OUNI 2002.

This is one of the most endangered turtle species according to a 2003 assessment by the IUCN.

Habitat: freshwater (rivers, swamps) 
EtymologyNamed after Professor George Dahl (1905-1979), a Swedish biologist and ichthyologist who visited Colombia (1936-1939) and collected the holotype. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - 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. 2008. Global diversity of turtles (Chelonii; Reptilia) in freshwater. Hydrobiologia 595:593–598 - get paper here
  • Bour, R. & Zaher, H. 2005. A NEW SPECIES OF MESOCLEMMYS, FROM THE OPEN FORMATIONS OF NORTHEASTERN BRAZIL (CHELONII, CHELIDAE). Pap. Avul. Zool., Sao Paulo 45 (24): 295-311 - get paper here
  • Ernst,C.H. and Barbour,R.W. 1989. Turtles of the World. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C. - London
  • Ettmar, Stephan 2019. Toad-headed turtles of the genus Mesoclemmys - Distribution, Natural History, Husbandry. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt, 204 pp.
  • Forero-Medina, German; Gladys Cardenas-Arevalo, and Olga V. Castano-Mora 2012. Habitat Modeling of Dahl's Toad-headed Turtle (Mesoclemmys dahli) in Colombia. Herp. Cons. Biology 7 (3): - get paper here
  • Forrero-Medina, German, Natalia Gallego and Ruben Palacios. 2014. Working to conserve Colombia's most imperiled Turtle Species. Turtle Survival 2014: 58-61 - get paper here
  • McCord, W. P., Joseph-Ouni, M.i & W. W. Lamar 2001. A taxonomic reevaluation of Phrynops (Testudines: Chelidae) with the description of two new genera and a new species of Batrachemys. Revista de Biologia Tropical 49 (2): 715-764 - get paper here
  • McCord, W.P. & Joseph-Ouni, M. 2002. Chelonian illustrations #1: South American Toadhead Turtles. Reptilia (GB) (21): 34-38 - get paper here
  • Medina, Germán Forero; Gladys Cárdenas-Arevalo, and Olga Victoria Castaño-Mora 2011. Abundance, Home Range, and Movement Patterns of the Endemic Species Dahl's Toad-Headed Turtle (Mesoclemmys dahli) in Cesar, Colombia. Chelonian Conservation and Biology Dec 2011, Vol. 10, No. 2: 228-236. - get paper here
  • Stanford, C.B. et al. 2020. Turtles and Tortoises Are in Trouble. Current Biology 30: R721–R735 - get paper here
  • TTWG; Dijk, Peter Paul van; John B. Iverson, H. Bradley Shaffer; Roger Bour & Anders G.J. Rhodin [turtle taxonomy working group] 2011. Turtles of the World, 2011 Update: Annotated Checklist of Taxonomy, Synonymy, Distribution, and Conservation Status. Chelonian Research Monographs No. 5: 78 pp.; doi:10.3854/crm.5.000.checklist.v4.2011 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Vargas-Ramírez, M., J. Michaels, et al. 2012. Weak genetic divergence between the two South American Toad-headed Turtles Mesoclemmys dahli and M. zuliae (Testudines:Pleurodira: Chelidae). Amphibia-Reptilia 33(3-4): 373-385 - get paper here
  • Zangerl, R., and F. Medem. 1958. A new species of chelid turtle, Phrynops (Batrachemys) dahli, from Colombia. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 119: 375-390 - get paper here
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