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Myuchelys georgesi (CANN, 1997)

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Higher TaxaChelidae, Chelodininae, Pleurodira, Testudines (turtles)
Common NamesE: Bellinger River Turtle, Georges’ Turtle 
SynonymElseya georgesi CANN 1997
Elseya georgesi — COGGER 2000: 738
Elseya georgesi — BONIN et al 2006
Wollumbinia georgesi — WELLS 2007
Elseya latisternum georgesi — ARTNER 2008
Wollumbinia georgesi — WELLS 2009
Myuchelys georgesi — THOMSON & GEORGES 2009
Wollumbinia georgesi — WILSON & SWAN 2010
Myuchelys georgesi — GEORGES & THOMSON 2010
Myuchelys georgesi — TTWG 2014: 434
Wollumbinia georgesi — COGGER 2014: 255
Wollumbinia georgesi — CANN & SADLIER 2017
Wollumbinia georgesi — SWAN et al. 2017
Wollumbinia georgesi — SWAN 2020
Myuchelys georgesi — THOMSON et al. 2021 
DistributionAustralia (NE New South Wales)

Type locality: Bellinger River 30°25'S, 152°46'E.  
TypesHolotype: AMS (AM) R31721 adult female, measuring 222 mm carapace length, collected by J. Cann in 1971. Paratypes: A. M. R3 1719 adult male; AMS (AM) R143552 (shell); Q.M.559430 (formerly A.M. R31720) adult female; Q.M. 559425 (formerly AM R31722) adult male. All paratypes same data as holotype. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Elseya georgesi is a moderately large species of turtle known only from the Bellinger River and its tributaries on the northeast coast of New South Wales. This species is most similar to Elseya purvisi wells & Wellington and those species of Elseya currently included in, or allied to Elseya latisternum. It can be distinguished from E. latisternum and Elseya sp. from the Namoi River by the presence of a pale (yellow in life) band of colour on the side of the head and neck, a marbled light plastron with a greenish blue tinge, unlike E. puwisi which is predominantly yellow, and the absence of a central groove on the carapace. It is most similar to Elseya purvisi from the Manning River, and can only readily be distinguished by the pattern of colour on the throat and tail. E. georgesi does not have a dark marking running down the centre of the throat or tail, whereas in E. puwisi these features are present. 
CommentSynonymy: Might be synonymous to E. purvisi WELLS & WELLINGTON (1985) from which it differs “in a number of subtle colour differences... including a black horizontal bar through the eye” (which purvisi has but georgesi lacks; COGGER 2000).

Myuchelys purvisi and M. georgesi are cryptic species (Georges & Adams, 1996; Thomson & Georges, 1996) differing overtly only in intensity of colouration 
EtymologyNamed after Arthur Georges (b. 1953), a freshwater turtle expert at the University of Canberra, Australia. 
  • Artner, H. 2008. The world's extant turtle species, Part 1. Emys 15 (3): 4-32
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Blamires, Sean J. and Ricky-John Spencer 2013. Influence of Habitat and Predation on Population Dynamics of the Freshwater Turtle Myuchelys georgesi. Herpetologica 69 (1): 46-57. - 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.
  • Cann, J., Spencer, R.-J., Welsh, M., and Georges, A. 2015. Myuchelys georgesi (Cann 1997) – Bellinger River Turtle. Chelonian Research Monographs 5(8):091.1–9, doi:10.3854/crm.5.091. georgesi.v1.2015 - get paper here
  • Cann, John 1997. Georges short-neck turtle, Elseya georgesi sp. nov. Monitor: Journal of the Victorian Herpetological Society. 9 (1): 18-23.
  • Cann, John; Ross Sadlier 2017. FRESHWATER TURTLES OF AUSTRALIA. CSIRO Publishing, 464 pp. - get paper here
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - get paper here
  • Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • 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
  • Georges, A.; J. Birrell, K. M. Saint, W. McCord und S. C. Donnellan 1998. A phylogeny for side-necked turtles (Chelonia: Pleurodira) based on mitochondrial and nuclear gene sequence variation. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 67: 213-246 [1999] - get paper here
  • Georges, Arthur and Ricky-J Spencer 2015. Bellinger River Turtles: Assessment of genetic diversity and hybridization in a species under threat. University of Canberra Report, 14 pp. - get paper here
  • Stanford, C.B. et al. 2020. Turtles and Tortoises Are in Trouble. Current Biology 30: R721–R735 - get paper here
  • Swan, G.; Sadlier, R.; Shea, G. 2017. A field guide to reptiles of New South Wales. Reed New Holland, 328 pp.
  • Swan, M. 2020. Frogs and reptiles of the Murray-Darling Basin. A guide to their identification, ecology and conservation. CSIRO Publishing, Clayton South, Victoria, 2020. 352 pages. ISBN 9781486311323 - get paper here
  • Thomson, R. C., Spinks, P. Q., & Shaffer, H. B. 2021. A global phylogeny of turtles reveals a burst of climate-associated diversification on continental margins. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 118 (7) - get paper here
  • Thomson, S. & Georges, A. 2009. Myuchelys gen. nov. —a new genus for Elseya latisternum and related forms of Australian freshwater turtle (Testudines: Pleurodira: Chelidae). Zootaxa 2053: 32-42 - get paper here
  • Wells, R. W. 2007. Some taxonomic and nomenclatural considerations on the class Reptilia in Australia. A new genus of the family Chelidae from eastern Australia. Australian Biodiversity Record (3): 1–13 - get paper here
  • Wells, Richard W. 2009. Some Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Considerations on the Class Reptilia in Australia. A New Species of Freshwater Turtle in the Genus Wollumbinia Wells 2007 (Reptilia: Chelidae) from Eastern Australia. Australian Biodiversity Record (1): 1-12
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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