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Rafetus euphraticus (DAUDIN, 1801)

IUCN Red List - Rafetus euphraticus - Endangered, EN

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Higher TaxaTrionychidae (Trionychinae), Trionychoidea, Testudines (turtles)
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Euphrates Soft-shelled Turtle
G: Euphrat-Weichschildkröte 
SynonymTestudo euphratica DAUDIN 1801: 305
Testudo rafcht OLIVIER 1807
Trionyx euphraticus — GEOFFROY DE ST-HILAIRE 1809
Testudo rafscht GRAY 1831 (ex errore)
Testudo rascht GRAY 1831 (ex errore)
Gymnopus Euphraticus — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1835: 498
Tyrse rafeht GRAY 1844
Trionyx rafeht — GRAY 1855 (ex errore)
Trionyx euphraticus — WERMUTH & MERTENS 1977: 107
Trionyx euphraticus — ALDERTON 1988
Rafetus euphraticus — ERNST & BARBOUR 1989
Rafetus euphraticus — SINDACO & JEREMČENKO 2008
Pelodiscus euphraticus — (fide TASKAVAG et al. 2016, without source)
Tyrse euphratica — (fide TASKAVAG et al. 2016, without source)
Rafetus euphraticus — TASKAVAG et al. 2016
Rafetus euphraticus — TTWG 2021 
DistributionS Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran (Tigris and Euphrates drainages)

Type locality: "dans le Tigre et l'Euphrate."  
Reproductionoviparous. 
TypesHolotype: unlocated (fide IVERSON 1992: 316) 
Diagnosis 
CommentNot listed by ENGELMANN et al. (1993).

Distribution: Not in Israel fide Y. Werner (pers. comm.).

Type species: Testudo euphratica DAUDIN 1801: 305 is the type species of the genus Rafetus GRAY 1864.

Habitat: freshwater (rivers and tributaries) 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality.

The genus name rafetus is a softshell turtle shot by the French naturalist Guillaume-Antoine Olivier, while boating on the Euphrates (1797), near Anah, he called "Testudo rafcht", hearing the Arabs call it rafcht. Although the meaning of this name in Arabic is not written in the book, some modern Arabic web pages refer to the local name of the turtle in dictionaries as الرفش (al-rafš), which means "shovel" (after Karataş & Çiçek 2022) 
References
  • Alderton, D. 1988. Turtles and tortoises of the world. Facts on File, New York.
  • Atatür, M. K. & S. Üçüncü 1986. A preliminary report on some peculiarities in the skull of the Euphrates Soft-shelled Turtle, Trionyx euphraticus. Zoology in the Middle East 1: 75 - get paper here
  • Biricik, M. & Turga, S. 2011. Description of an Euphrates Softshell Turtle (Rafetus euphraticus) nest from th eTigris River (SE Turkey). Salamandra 47 (2): 99-102 - 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
  • Daudin, F. M. 1801. Histoire Naturelle, Générale et Particulière des Reptiles; ouvrage faisant suit à l'Histoire naturell générale et particulière, composée par Leclerc de Buffon; et rédigee par C.S. Sonnini, membre de plusieurs sociétés savantes. Vol. 2. F. Dufart, Paris, 432 pp. [publication date fide Harper 1940] - 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
  • Ghaffari, Hanyeh; Ertan Taskavak, and Mahmood Karami 2008. Conservation Status of the Euphrates Softshell Turtle, Rafetus euphraticus, in Iran. Chelonian Conservation and Biology 7(2): 223 - get paper here
  • Ghaffari, Hanyeh; Flora Ihlow, Michael V. Plummer, Mahmood Karami, Nematollah Khorasani, Barbod Safaei-Mahroo, and Dennis Rödder 2014. Home Range and Habitat Selection of the Endangered Euphrates Softshell Turtle Rafetus euphraticus in a Fragmented Habitat in Southwestern Iran. Chelonian Conservation and Biology Dec 2014, Vol. 13, No. 2: 202-215. - get paper here
  • Gramentz, D. 1991. Beobachtungen an der Euphrat-Weichschildkröte Trionyx euphraticus (DAUDIN, 1802) in Ost-Anatolien. Salamandra 27 (1): 1-16 - get paper here
  • Gramentz, D. 1993. Vernichtung einer Population von Rafetus euphraticus am Oberlauf des Euphrat. Salamandra 29 (1): 86-89 - get paper here
  • Gray, J. E. 1864. Revision of the species of Trionychidae found in Asia and Africa, with descriptions of some new species. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1864: 76-98 - get paper here
  • Harper, Francis 1940. Some works of Bartram, Daudin, Latreille, and Sonnini, and their bearing upon North American herpetological nomenclature. American Midland Naturalist 23 (3): 692-723 - get paper here
  • Kantz, H. 2010. Weichschildkröten in der Türkei - Trionyx triunguis und Rafetus euphraticus. Elaphe 18 (3): 53-56
  • Karataş, A., & Çiçek, K. 2022. The reptiles of Turkey: An etymology. Journal of Wildlife and Biodiversity, 6(X) - get paper here
  • RASTEGAR-POUYANI, NASRULLAH; HAJI GHOLI KAMI, MEHDI RAJABZADEH, SOHEILA SHAFIEI AND STEVEN CLEMENT ANDERSON 2008. Annotated Checklist of Amphibians and Reptiles of Iran. Iranian Journal of Animal Biosystematics 4 (1): 7-30
  • Safaei-Mahroo B., Ghaffari H. 2021. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Euphrates and Tigris Basin. In: Jawad L. A. (eds) Tigris and Euphrates Rivers: Their Environment from Headwaters to Mouth. Aquatic Ecology Series, vol 11. Springer, Cham - get paper here
  • Siebenrock, F. 1902. Zur Systematik der Schildkrötenfamilie Trionychidae Bell, nebst der Beschreibung einer neuen Cyclanorbis - Art. Sitzungsber. K. Akad. Wiss. Wien. Math-Naturwiss. Cl. 111: 807-846 - get paper here
  • Siebenrock, F. 1913. Schildkröten aus Syrien und Mesopotamien. Ann. Naturhist. Mus. Wien 27: 171-225 - get paper here
  • Sindaco, R. & Jeremcenko, V.K. 2008. The reptiles of the Western Palearctic. Edizioni Belvedere, Latina (Italy), 579 pp. - get paper here
  • Sindaco, Roberto; Alberto Venchi, Giuseppe M. Carpaneto, Marco A. Bologna 2000. The Reptiles of Anatolia: a Checklist and Zoogeographical analysis. Biogeographia, 21-2000: 441-554. - get paper here
  • SOLTANIAN, SIYAVASH; AMIN GHOLAMHOSSEINI, MAHDI BANAEE, REZA SALIGHEHZADEH & MOHAMMAD SAEID FEREIDOUNI. 2021. Hematological and Biochemical Reference Intervals for Euphrates Softshell Turtle (Rafetus euphraticus). Iranian Journal of Science and Technology (2021): - get paper here
  • Stadtlander, T. 1992. Recent observations of the Euphrates Soft-shelled Turtle, Rafetus euphraticus, in Mesopotamia. Zoology in the Middle East 7: 55 - get paper here
  • Taskavak , E., Atatür, M.K., Ghaffari, H., and Meylan, P.A. 2016. Rafetus euphraticus (Daudin 1801) – Euphrates Softshell Turtle. Chelonian Research Monographs 5(9):098.1–11. doi:10.3854/crm.5.098.euphraticus.v1.2016 - get paper here
  • Taskavak, E. 1998. Comparative morphology of the Euphrates soft-shelled turtle, Rafetus euphraticus (Daudin, 1802) (Reptilia, Testudines) in southeastern Anatolia. Amphibia-Reptilia 19(3): 281-291. - get paper here
  • Taskavak, Ertan 1999. Cranial morphology of Rafetus euphraticus (Daudin, 1801) from Southeastern Anatolia. Amphibia-Reptilia 20 (1):35-53 - get paper here
  • Taskavak, Ertan;Atat_r, Mehmet K. 1998. Distribution and habitats of the Euphrates softshell turtle, Rafetus euphraticus, in southeastern Anatolia, Turkey, with observations on biology and factors endangering its survival. Chelonian Conserv. Biol. 3 (1): 20-30
  • 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
  • Valverde, J. 2007. Weichschildkröten. Reptilia (Münster) 12 (68): 16-23 - get paper here
 
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