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Peltocephalus dumerilianus (SCHWEIGGER, 1812)

IUCN Red List - Peltocephalus dumerilianus - Vulnerable, VU

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Higher TaxaPodocnemididae, Pelomedusoidea, Pleurodira, Testudines (turtles)
Common NamesE: Big-headed Amazon River Turtle
G: Dumerils Schienenschildkröte
Portuguese: Acanguaçu, Cabeçuda, Cabeçudo, Capitari (machos), Jurará, Peindu, Tartaruga-Arara, Tartaruga-de-Bico-de-Arara 
SynonymEmys dumeriliana SCHWEIGGER 1812
Emys macrocephala SPIX 1824 (non E. macrocephala GRAY 1844)
Emys tracaxa SPIX 1824
Emys Traxaca SPIX1824 (fide FRANZEN & GLAW 2007: 207)
Chelys (Hydraspis) lata GRAY in GRIFFITH 1831
Emys icterocephala GRAY (ex errore) in GRIFFITH 1831
Chelys (Hydraspis) dumerilliana [sic] — GRAY 1831
Podocnemis Dumeriliana — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1835: 387
Peltocephalus Tracaxa — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1835: 378
Peltocephalus dumerilianus — DIESING 1839 (fide GENTIL et al. 2021)
Podocnemis tracaxa — BOULENGER 1889
Peltocephalus dumeriliana — FRAIR et al. 1978
Peltocephalus dumeriliana — OBST 1985
Podocnemis tracaxa — HOOGMOED & GRUBER 1983: 345
Peltocephalus dumerilianus — GORZULA & SEÑARIS 1999
Peltocephalus dumerilianus — RIVAS et al. 2012
Peltocephalus dumerilianus — TTWG 2021 
DistributionAmazon watershed from Peru,
Colombia (incl. Orinoco drainage: Rios Vichada, Tuparro, Tomo, Elivita, Muco), Ecuador,
W Venezuela, Brazil (Amazonas, Para)

Type locality: "America meridionali". Restricted to French Guiana by Bour 2006.  
TypesNeotype: MNHN-RA 8364, designated by Bour 2006. Holotype: lost (fide KING & BURKE 1989). 
CommentWilliams (1954) identified MNHN 7893 as a Podocnemis unifilis, which Fretey (1977:111), believed was the holotype of dumerilianus, making Emys tracaxa Spix 1824, the next available name for this taxon. Pritchard and Trebbau (1984:89), showed that MNHN 7893 could not be the holotype of dumerilianus because Schweigger's 1812 paper clearly was based on a Peltocephalus, and not a Podocnemis (after KING & BURKE 1989).

Type species: Emys tracaxa SPIX 1824 is the type species of the genus Peltocephalus DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1835: 377.

Habitat: freshwater (rivers, swamps) 
EtymologyThe name Peltocephalus derives from the union and Latinisation of the Greek word “pélte”, shield, and the Latin “cephalus”, head.
The species was named after Dr. Andre Marie Constant Dumeril (1774-1860), French zoologist and herpetologist. 
  • 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, Roger 2006. Types of Podocnemidae in the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle. Emys 13 (1): 27-40
  • Cisneros-Heredia, D.F. 2006. Turtles of the Tiputini Biodiversity Station with remarks on the diversity and distribution of the Testudines from Ecuador. Biota Neotropica 6 (1): 1-16 - 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
  • Frair, W.; Mittermeier, R.A.; Rhodin, A.G.J. 1978. Blood biochemistry and relations among Podocnemis turtles (Pleurodira, Pelomedusidae). Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 61B: 139-143 - get paper here
  • Fretey, J. 1977. Les Chéloniens de Guyane Française. 1. Etude préliminaire. Thesis, University of Paris. 201 pp.
  • Gaffney, Eugene S.; Peter A. Meylan, Roger C. Wood, Elwyn Simons, and Diogenes De Almeida Campos 2011. Evolution of the Side-Necked Turtles: The Family Podocnemididae. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History (350): 1-237 - get paper here
  • Gentil E, de Medeiros LA, Vogt RC, Barnett AA 2021. Biology of the Big-headed Amazon River Turtle, Peltocephalus dumerilianus (Schweigger, 1812) (Testudines, Pleurodira): the basal extant Podocnemididae species. Herpetozoa 34: 207-222 - 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 - get paper here
  • Gorzula, Stefan & Senaris, J. Celsa 1999. In: Contribution to the herpetofauna of the Venezuelan Guayana. I: a data base. Scientia Guaianae, Caracas, No. 8 [1998], 269+ pp.; ISBN 980-6020-48-0
  • Herz, M. 2014. Begegnungen mit Schildkröten im venezolanischen Bundesstaat Amazonas. Teil 1: Wasserschildkröten. Reptilia (Münster) 19 (110): 52-59
  • Hoogmoed,M.S. and Gruber,U. 1983. Spix and Wagler type specimens of reptiles and amphibians in the Natural History Musea in Munich (Germany) and Leiden (The Netherlands). Spixiana Suppl. 9: 319-415 - get paper here
  • Magalhães, Marcela S.; Richard C. Vogt, José Fernando M. Barcellos, Carlos Eduardo B. Moura, and Ronis Da Silveira 2014. Morphology of the Digestive Tube of the Podocnemididae in the Brazilian Amazon. Herpetologica Dec 2014, Vol. 70, No. 4: 449-463. - 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. 210p. - get paper here
  • Pérez-Emán, J.L. & A. Paolillo O. 1997. Diet of the Pelomedusid Turtle Peltocephalus dumerilianus in the Venezuelan Amazon Journal of Herpetology 31 (2): 173-179. - get paper here
  • Pritchard, P.C.H., and P. Trebbau. 1984. The Turtles of Venezuela. SSAR Contributions to Herpetology 2: viii + 402 pp.
  • 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
  • Schweigger, A.F. 1812. Prodromus Monographia Cheloniorum auctore Schweigger. Königsberg. Arch. Naturwiss. Mathem., 1: 271-368, 406-458.
  • Siebenrock, F. 1902. Zur Systematik der Schildkrötengattung Podocnemis Wagl. Anzeiger der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Classe, Wien, 27: 104-106 - 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; 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
  • Vaz-Silva, W.; RM Oliveira, AFN Gonzaga, KC Pinto, FC Poli, TM Bilce, M Penhacek, L Wronski, JX Martins, TG Junqueira, LCC, Cesca VY, Guimarães RD. Pinheiro 2015. Contributions to the knowledge of amphibians and reptiles from Volta Grande do Xingu, northern Brazil Braz. J. Biol., 75 (3) (suppl.): S205-S218 - get paper here
  • Williams, E.E. 1954. A key and description of the living species of the genus Podocnemis (sensu Boulenger) (Testudines, Pelomedusidae). Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 111 (8): 277-295. - get paper here
  • Winkler, J.D. 2006. Testing phylogenetic implications of eggshell characters in side-necked turtles (Testudines: Pleurodira). Zoology 109: 127-136 - get paper here
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