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Pseudemys texana BAUR, 1893

IUCN Red List - Pseudemys texana - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaEmydidae, Deirochelyinae, Testudinoidea, Testudines (turtles)
Common NamesE: Texas River Cooter
G: Texas-Schmuckschildkröte 
SynonymPseudemys texana BAUR 1893: 223
Pseudemys concinna texana — CONANT 1958
Chrysemys concinna texana — FRITZ & BIENERT 1981
Chrysemys floridana texana — FRITZ 1981
Pseudemys (Ptychemys) texana — WARD 1984:45
Pseudemys concinna texana — STEBBINS 1985: 103
Pseudemys texana — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 67
Pseudemys texana — CROTHER 2000
Pseudemys texana — ERNST & LOVICH 2009
Pseudemys texana — TTWG 2021 
DistributionUSA (Texas: from San Antonio Bay and Galveston on the Gulf, west in the Colorado, Brazos, Guadalupe, and San Antonio river drainages).

Type locality: San Antonio, Texas.  
ReproductionOviparous. Exhibits temperature‐dependent sex determination (TSD) fide Cornejo-Páramo et al. 2020 (and references therein). 
TypesHolotype: ANSP 246, of the Philadelphia Academy, collected by Dr. Hermann in San Antonio, Texas. There is a shell of the same species in the Philadelphia Academy. No. 247. It has the Smithsonian Institution number 7173 and was collected near Old Fort Cobb, I. T. The soft parts, limbs and head are preserved in alcohol at the Smitlisonian. The two specimens mentioned by Agassiz are also at the Smithsonian (No. 80, Guadalupe mountains, Pecos river, Texas, and No. 76, New Leon, near Cadereita, Mexico) and belong to this species (from BAUR 1893). 
DiagnosisOriginal description from BAUR (1893): Shell very thin behind, posterior border serrated, longitudinally rugose; nuchal long and slender; upper shell brown, with yellow reticulations similar to Pseudemys concinna; shell not much elevated. Plastron emarginated behind, yellow or with brown markings. Skull small, similar to P. rubiventris; upper jaw notched in the centre, with a rounded tooth on each side, not so prominent as in P. rubiventris. Lower jaw similar to P. rubiventris. The coloration of the head quite different from the other species. A yellow longitudinal spot behind the eye; above this, a yellow line ending in a long longitudinal spot above the temples; from the lower posterior portion of the eye a yellow line appears, sending a branch upwards in front of tympanic cavity, and continues behind on the neck. Three very strong yellow and some slender yellow stripes on lower face of neck. 
CommentDiet: herbivorous.

Habitat: freshwater (lakes, ponds, rivers) 
EtymologyThe name texana refers to the state of Texas. 
  • Bartlett, R. D. & Bartlett, P. 1999. A Field Guide to Texas Reptiles and Amphibians. Gulf Publishing Co., Houston, Texas, 331 pp.
  • BASSETT, L. G., S. SIRSI, AND M. R. J. FORSTNER 2020. Geographic Distribution: Pseudemys texana (Texas Cooter). USA: Texas: Lampasas Co. Herpetological Review 51: 537.
  • Baur, G. 1893. Notes on the classification and taxonomy of the Testudinata. Proc. Amer. Philos. Soc. 31: 210-225 - get paper here
  • Bever, G.S. 2008. Comparative growth in the postnatal skull of the extant North American turtle Pseudemys texana (Testudinoidea: Emydidae). Acta Zoologica (Stockholm) 89: 107–131 - get paper here
  • Bever, G.S. 2009. The Postnatal Skull of the Extant North American Turtle Pseudemys texana (Cryptodira: Emydidae), With Comments on the Study of Discrete Intraspecific Variation. Journal of Morphology 270:97–128 - get paper here
  • Bohannon, A.M.A., MacLaren, A.R., Sirsi, S. & Forstner, M.R.J. 2018. Geographic Distribution: Pseudemys texana (Texas Cooter). Herpetological Review 49 (1): 72. - get paper here
  • Bour, R. 2008. Global diversity of turtles (Chelonii; Reptilia) in freshwater. Hydrobiologia 595:593–598 - get paper here
  • Burroughs, Robert W., Zachary S. Morris and Adam D. Marsh. 2014. Trachemys scripta (red-eared slider), Pseudemys texana (Texas river cooter), Chelydra serpentina (snapping turtle) feeding behavior and scavenging. Herpetological Review 45 (2): 321-322 - get paper here
  • Carr, Archie Fairly 1942. The status of Pseudemys floridana texana, with notes on parallelism in Pseudemys. Proc. New England zool. Club 21: 69-76
  • Conant,R. & Collins,J.T. 1991. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern/Central North America, 3rd ed. Houghton Mifflin (Boston/New York), xx + 450 p.
  • Cornejo-Páramo, P., Lira-Noriega, A., Ramírez-Suástegui, C. et al. 2020. Sex determination systems in reptiles are related to ambient temperature but not to the level of climatic fluctuation. BMC Evol Biol 20: 103 - get paper here
  • Crother, B. I. (ed.) 2012. Standard Common and Current Scientific Names for North American Amphibians, Turtles, Reptiles, and Crocodilians, Seventh Edition. Herpetological Circular 39: 1-92
  • Dixon, James R. 2000. Amphibians and reptiles of Texas, second edition. Texas A&M University Press, 421 pp.
  • Ernst, Carl H.; Lovich, Jeffrey E. 2009. Turtles of the United States and Canada, 2nd edition. Johns Hopkins University Press, 827 pp. - get paper here
  • Etchberger C R; Iverson J B 1990. Pseudemys texana Baur. Texas cooter. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles 485: 1-2 - get paper here
  • Fields, J.R., T.R. Simpson, R.W. Manning & F.L. Rose 2003. Food Habits and Selective Foraging by the Texas River Cooter (Pseudemys texana) in Spring Lake, Hays County, Texas Journal of Herpetology 37 (4): 726-729. - get paper here
  • Fritz, U. 1981. Synonymie von Chrysemys concinna (LE CONTE 1830) mit Chrysemys floridana (LE CONTE 1830) mit Berücksichtigung von Chrysemys rubriventris (LE CONTE 1830), WERMUTH & MERTENS 1961. Herpetofauna 3 (11): 31-33 - get paper here
  • FRITZ, U. 1989. Beitrag zur Kenntnis der Texas - Schmuckschildkröte (Pseudemys texana BAUR 1893) (Reptilia: Testudines: Emydidae). Sauria 11 (1): 9-14 - get paper here
  • Fritz, U. & Bienert, H.-D. 1981. Übersicht über die neuweltliche Sumpfschildkrötengattung Chrysemys GRAY (Pseudemys GRAY = Synonym für Chrysemys GRAY). Herpetofauna 3 (10): 17-22 - get paper here
  • Hennig, Andreas S. 2013. Die Neuwelt-Sumpfschildkröten der Familie Emydidae. Terraria-Elaphe 2013 (4): 14-20 - get paper here
  • Hibbitts, Troy D. and Terry L. Hibbitts 2016. Texas Turtles & Crocodilians: a Field Guide. University of Texas Press, Austin, Texas. xvi + 276 pp., 117 photos, 36 maps. ISBN 978-1477307779.
  • Legler, John M. 1958. The Texas slider (Pseudemys floridana texana) in New Mexico. Southwestern Naturalist 3: 212-213 - get paper here
  • Lindeman, P V; 2019. Geographic Distribution: Pseudemys texana (Texas River Cooter) USA: Texas: Palo Pinto Co. Herpetological Review 50 (2): 326 - get paper here
  • LINDEMAN, PETER V. 2021. Geographic distribution: PSEUDEMYS TEXANA (Texas Cooter). USA: TEXAS: Jones Co. Herpetological Review 52 (2): 344–345. - get paper here
  • Mali, Ivana; Thomas R. Simpson, and Francis L. Rose 2015. Reproductive demography of two closely related Emydine Turtles in a spring fed system. Southwestern Naturalist Sep 2014, Vol. 59, No. 3: 325-330. - get paper here
  • McCord, W.P., Joseph-Ouni, M. & Uhrig, D. 2005. Chelonian Illustrations # 23 - Red-bellied and River Cooters of North America. Reptilia (GB) (43): 79- - get paper here
  • Munscher, E & Franklin, C J; 2019. Pseudemys texana (Texas River Cooter) Maximum size. Herpetological Review 50 (1): 128 - get paper here
  • Rose, F.L., T.R. Simpson & R.W. Manning 1996. Measured and Predicted Egg Volume of Pseudemys texana with Comments on Turtle Egg Shape Journal of Herpetology 30 (3): 433-435. - get paper here
  • Seidel M E; Ernst C H 1996. Pseudemys. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles (625): 1-7 - get paper here
  • Seidel, Michael E. & Carl H. Ernst 2017. A Systematic Review of the Turtle Family Emydidae. Vertebrate Zoology 67 (1): 1–122 - get paper here
  • Spinks, Phillip Q.; Robert C. Thomson, Gregory B. Pauly, Catherine E. Newman, Genevieve Mount, H. Bradley Shaffer 2013. Misleading phylogenetic inferences based on single-exemplar sampling in the turtle genus Pseudemys. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 68 (2): 269-281 - get paper here
  • Stebbins,R.C. 1985. A Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians, 2nd ed. Houghton Mifflin, Boston
  • Stephens, P.R. & Wiens, J.J. 2003. Ecological diversification and phylogeny of emydid turtles. Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 79: 577-610 - get paper here
  • Thornton, Okla W., Jr.;Smith, Jerry R. 1993. New county records of amphibians and reptiles from West-Central Texas. Herpetological Review 24 (1): 35-36 - 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
  • Vaughan, R. Kathryn;Lockwood, Mitchell A. 1996. Geographic Distribution. Pseudemys texana. Herpetological Review 27 (3): 151 - get paper here
  • Ward, J.P. 1984. Relationships of the Chrysemyd turtles of North America (Testudines: Emydidae). Special Publications of the Museum of the Texas Technological University 21: 1-50 - get paper here
  • Weidler, J M 2019. Protected areas of Texas in relation to Texas reptiles. Herpetological Review 50 (3): 462-473 - get paper here
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