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Mesoclemmys raniceps (GRAY, 1856)

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Higher TaxaChelidae, Chelinae, Pleurodira, Testudines (turtles)
Common NamesE: Black-lined Toadhead Turtle
Portuguese: Cágado, Cágado-de-Cabeça-de-Sapo-Comum, Lalá 
SynonymHydraspis raniceps GRAY 1856
Hydraspis maculata GRAY 1873: 305
Phrynops wermuthi MERTENS 1969
Phrynops (Batrachemys) nasutus wermuthi — ALDERTON 1988
Phrynops raniceps — IVERSON 1992
Batrachemys raniceps — MCCORD et al. 2001
Batrachemys raniceps — MCCORD & JOSEPH-OUNI 2002
Batrachemys raniceps — SOUZA 2004
Mesoclemmys raniceps — BOUR & ZAHER 2005
Batrachemys (Phrynops) raniceps — BONIN et al 2006
Mesoclemmys raniceps — VAN DIJK et al. 2011
Batrachemys raniceps — RIVAS et al. 2012
Phrynops (Batrachemys) raniceps — PHILIPPEN 2012 
DistributionSE Colombia, E Peru, N Bolivia, Brazil (Amazon basin, Mato Grosso, Amazonas, Pará, Rondônia), Ecuador (Amazonia, Sucumbíos, Orellana).

wermuthi: Peru; Type locality: “Amazonian Peru”.

Type locality: “Brazil, Para”.  
TypesLectotype: BMNH 1947.3.5.92, formerly NHM; Bates collection, (designated by Bour & Pauler 1987). 
CommentFor a color illustration and distribution map see MCCORD & JOSEPH-OUNI 2002.

Distribution: the report of M. raniceps from Peru (FERRONATO et al. 2011) is actually based on a misidentified M. gibba [see erratum to this paper]. Not in Venezuela fide Rivas et al. 2015.

M. raniceps and M. gibba can be distinguished by the head width in relation to caparace lenght. This proportion in M. raniceps are more than 20% in adult individuals, and less than 20% in M. gibba (Rueda-Almonacid et al 2007).

Habitat: freshwater (rivers, swamps) 
EtymologyPhrynops wermuthi has been named in honor of Heinz Wermuth (1918-2002), German herpetologist. P. wermuthi has been synonymized with Phrynops raniceps by Bour & Pauler 1987. 
  • Balensiefer, D. C. & Vogt, R. C. 2012. Geographic distribution: Mesoclemmys raniceps (Amazon toad-headed turtle). Herpetological Review 43: 303 - 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. & Pauler, I. 1987. Identité de Phrynops vanderhaegei Bour 1973 et des espèces affines. Mésogée 47: 3-23
  • 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
  • Brito, E.S.; C. Strüssmann; R.A. Kawashita-Ribeiro; D.H. Morais; R.W. Ávila; V.A. Campos. 2012. New records and distribution extensions of three species of Mesoclemmys Gray, 1863 (Testudines: Chelidae) in Mato Grosso state, Brazil, with observations on terrestrial movements. Check List 8(2):294-297 - get paper here
  • Brito, Elizangela Silva de; Rafael Martins Valadão, Fábio Andrew G. Cunha, Cristiane Gomes de Araújo, Patrik F. Viana, Izaias Fernandes Médice 2019. New records of Mesoclemmys raniceps (Testudines, Chelidae) for the states of Amazonas, Pará and Rondônia, northern Brazil, including for the Tocantins Basin. Herpetology Notes 12: 283-289 - get paper here
  • CATENAZZI, A., LEHR, E. & VON MAY, R. 2013. The amphibians and reptiles of Manu National Park and its buffer zone, Amazon basin and eastern slopes of the Andes, Peru. Biota Neotrop. 13(4): 269-283
  • Cisneros-Heredia, D.F. 2006. Turtles of the Tiputini Biodiversity Station with remarks on the diversity and distribution of the Testudines from Ecuador. Biota Neotrop. 6 (1): 1-16 - get paper here
  • Cunha, Fábio A.G.; Thaisa Fernandes , Jabson Franco & Richard C. Vogt 2019. Reproductive Biology and Hatchling Morphology of the Amazon Toad-headed Turtle (Mesoclemmys raniceps) (Testudines: Chelidae), with Notes on Species Morphology and Taxonomy of the Mesoclemmys Group. Chelonian Conservation and Biology Dec 2019 Vol. 18, No. 2: 195-209 - 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.
  • Ferronato, B. et al. 2010. Hatchling morphology of the Amazonian toad-headed turtle (Mesoclemmys raniceps [Gray 1855]) from Peruvian Tropical Andes (Testudines: Chelidae). Herpetology Notes 3: 211-214 [erratum available]
  • Ferronato, B. et al. 2011. New locality records for chelonians (Testudines: Chelidae, Podocnemididae, Testudinidae) from Departamento de Pasco, Peru. Herpetology Notes 4: 219-224 - get paper here
  • Fonseca, Wirven Lima da; Julivaldo Dantas da Silva, Arthur Diesel Abegg, Conrado Mario da Rosa, Paulo Sergio Bernarde 2019. Herpetofauna of Porto Walter and surrounding areas, Southwest Amazonia, Brazil. Herpetology Notes 12: 91-107 - get paper here
  • Gonzalez R. C. et al. 2020. Lista dos Nomes Populares dos Répteis no Brasil – Primeira Versão. Herpetologia Brasileira. 9(2): 121 – 214
  • Gray, J. E. 1873. Observations on chelonians, with descriptions of new genera and species. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (4) 11: 289-308 - get paper here
  • Gray,J.E. 1856. Catalogue of Shield Reptiles in the Collection of the British Museum. Part I. Testudinata (Tortoises). British Museum, London, 79 pp. [1855]
  • Lescure, J., and J. Fretey 1975. Etude Taxinomique de Phrynops (Batrachemys) nasutus (Schweigger) (Testudinata, Chelidae). Bull. Mus. Natn. Hist. Nat., Paris 337: 1317-1328
  • 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
  • Mertens,R. 1969. Eine neue Halswender-Schildkröte aus Peru. Senckenbergiana biologica 50: 132
  • MOLINA, FLAVIO B.; FABIO A. MACHADO & HUSSAM ZAHER 2012. Taxonomic validity of Mesoclemmys heliostemma (McCord, Joseph-Ouni & Lamar, 2001) (Testudines, Chelidae) inferred from morphological analysis. Zootaxa 3575: 63–77 - get paper here
  • Morato, S.A.A.; Calixto, P.O.; Mendes, L.R.; Gomes, R.; Galatti, U.; Trein, F.L.; Oliveira, F.S.; Ferreira, G.N. 2014. Guia fotográfico de identificação da herpetofauna da Floresta Nacional de Saracá-Taquera, Estado do Pará. Curitiba: STCP Engenharia de Projetos Ltda.; Porto Trombetas: MRN – Mineração Rio do Norte S.A.; 213 p. - get paper here
  • Morato, Sérgio Augusto Abrahão; Guilherme Nunes Ferreira; Michela Rossane Cavilha Scupino (eds.) 2018. Herpetofauna da Amazônia Central: Estudos na FLONA de Saracá-Taquera. Curitiba, Pr: STCP Engenharia de Projetos Ltda.; Porto Trombetas, Pa: MRN – Mineração Rio do Norte S.A., 2018.<br />210p. - get paper here
  • Morcatty, Thaís Q. 2015. Geographic Distribution: Mesoclemmys raniceps (black-lined toad-headed turtle). Herpetological Review 46 (3): 382 - get paper here
  • RIVAS, GILSON A.; CÉSAR R. MOLINA, GABRIEL N. UGUETO, TITO R. BARROS, CÉSAR L. BAR- RIO-AMORÓS & PHILIPPE J. R. KOK 2012. Reptiles of Venezuela: an updated and commented checklist. Zootaxa 3211: 1–64 - get paper here
  • Rivas, Gilson A.; Tito R. Barros, Flavio de Barros Molina, Pedro Trebbau, and Peter C.H. Pritchard 2015. The Presence of Mesoclemmys raniceps and Mesoclemmys nasuta in Venezuela and Comments on the Type Locality of Hydraspis maculata (Chelidae). Chelonian Conservation and Biology 14 (1): 104-107. - get paper here
  • Schweigger, A.F. 1812. Prodromus Monographia Cheloniorum auctore Schweigger. Königsberg. Arch. Naturwiss. Mathem., 1: 271-368, 406-458.
  • Souza, Franco L. 2004. Uma revisão sobre padrões de atividade, reprodução e alimentação de cágados brasileiros (Testudines, Chelidae) [A review on activity patterns, reproduction, and feeding habits in Brazilian chelid turtles (Testudines, Chelidae)]. Phyllomedusa 3 (1): 15-28 - get paper here
  • Torres-Carvajal O, Pazmiño-Otamendi G, Salazar-Valenzuela D. 2019. Reptiles of Ecuador: a resource-rich portal, with a dynamic checklist and photographic guides. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 13 (1): [General Section]: 209–229 (e178) - 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
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