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Rhinoclemmys melanosterna (GRAY, 1861)

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Higher TaxaGeoemydidae (Rhinoclemmydinae), Testudinoidea, Testudines (turtles)
Common NamesE: Colombian Wood Turtle 
SynonymGeoclemmys melanosterna GRAY 1861: 205
Geoclemmys melanosterna GRAY 1861: 336
Rhinoclemys [sic] melanosterna — GRAY 1863: 183
Rhinoclemmys melanosterna — GRAY 1873: 144
Nicoria punctularia var. melanosternum — BOULENGER 1889
Geoemyda punctularia melanosternum — SIEBENROCK 1909
Rhinoclemmys melanosterna — PRITCHARD 1979
Rhinoclemmys punctularia melanosterna — ERNST 1981
Rhinoclemmys melanosterna — KING & BURKE 1989
Rhinoclemmys melanosterna — KÖHLER 2000: 22
Rhinoclemmys melanosterna — TTWG 2014
Rhinoclemmys melanosterna — TTWG 2021 
DistributionCaribbean drainages of SE Panama and N Colombia, and Pacific drainages of W Colombia (incl. Valle del Cauca) and NW Ecuador

Type locality: "The Gulf of Darién: Cherunha"; Boulenger 1889:124, listed the types as being from "River Buonaventura (sic)" and "Chirambira, Gulf of Darien"; restricted to "Chirambira, near Buenaventura" Colombia by Mertens and Wermuth 1955:352; corrected to Boca Chirambira, delta of the Rio San Juan, Choco, Colombia by Medem 1958:21 (cited after KING & BURKE 1989).  
TypesSyntypes: BMNH 1947.3.4.8, and 1947.3.5.51 
CommentRhinoclemmys melanosterna and Rhinoclemmys punctularia differ in their karoytype (CARR & BICKHAM 1986). Yet, hybrids between R. punctularia and R. melanosterna have been described by FRITZ (1995). 
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1889. Catalogue of the chelonians, rhynchocephalians, and crocodiles in the British Museum (Natural History). British Museum, London, 311 pp.
  • Carr, J.L., and J.W.Bickham 1986. Phylogenetic implications of karyotypic variation in the Batagurinae (Testudines: Emydidae). Genetica 70: 89-106. - get paper here
  • Castro-Herrera, F. & Vargas-Salinas, F. 2008. Anfibios y reptiles en el departamento del Valle del Cauca, Colombia. Biota Colombiana 9 (2): 251 - 277 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Ernst, C. H. 1981. Rhinoclemmys punctularia. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles ( 276: 1-2. - get paper here
  • Ernst,C.H. and Barbour,R.W. 1989. Turtles of the World. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C. - London
  • Gray, J. E. 1863. Notes on American Emydidae, and Professor Agassiz’s observations on my Catalogue of them. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (3) 12: 176-183 - get paper here
  • Gray, J.E. 1861. On a new species of water-tortoise (Geoclemmys melanosterna) from Darien. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (3) 8: 336-337 - get paper here
  • Gray, J.E. 1861. On a new species of water-tortoise (Geoclemmys melanosterna) from Darien. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1861: 204-205. - get paper here
  • Gray,J.E. 1873. Notes on tortoises. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (4) 11: 143-149 - get paper here
  • Iverson, John B. 2014. Rhinoclemmys melanosterna (Colombian wood turtle) longevity. Herpetological Review 45 (1): 60 - get paper here
  • Köhler, G. 2000. Reptilien und Amphibien Mittelamerikas, Bd 1: Krokodile, Schildkröten, Echsen. Herpeton Verlag, Offenbach, 158 pp.
  • McLaughlin, Connor J. and C. Tristan Stayton 2016. Convergent Evolution Provides Evidence of Similar Radiations in Shell Shape in the Turtle Families Emydidae and Geoemydidae. Herpetologica 72 (2): 120-129. - get paper here
  • Medem, F. 1958. Informe sobre reptiles Colombianos. (II). El conocimiento actual sobre la distribución geográfica de los Testudinata en Colombia. Boletin del Museo de Ciencias Naturales, Caracas 2-3 (1-4): 13-45.
  • Mertens, R., and H. Wermuth 1955. Die rezenten Schildkröten, Krokodile und Brückenechsen. Zoologische Jahrbücher. Abteilung für Allgemeine Systematik, Ökologie und Geographie der Tiere, Gustav Fischer Verlag, Jena. 83(5): 323-440.
  • Methner, K., & Wicker, R. 1982. Zum Vorkommen von Rhinoclemmys punctularia in Kolumbien (Reptilia: Testudines: Emydidae). Salamandra 18 (3-4): 300-304 - get paper here
  • Páez, V.P. et al. 2002. Guía de campo de algunas especies de anfibios y reptiles de Antioquia. Universidad de Antioquia, - get paper here
  • Pinto-Erazo, M.A., Calderón-Espinosa, M.L., Medina-Rangel, G.F. & Méndez-Galeano, M.A. 2020. Herpetofauna from two municipalities of southwestern Colombia. Biota Colombiana 21(1): 41-57. DOI: 10.21068/c2020.v21n01a04 - get paper here
  • Pritchard, P.C.H. 1979. Encyclopedia of Turtles. T.F.H. Publications, Neptune, New Jersey: 895 p.
  • 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 [Peter Paul van Dijk, John B. Iverson, Anders G.J. Rhodin, H. Bradley Shaffer, and Roger Bour] 2014. Turtles of the World, 7th Edition: Annotated Checklist of Taxonomy, Synonymy, Distribution with Maps, and Conservation Status. 000.v7. Chelonian Research Monographs (ISSN 1088-7105) No. 5, doi:10.3854/crm.5.000.checklist.v7.2014 - 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
  • Valencia-Zuleta A, Jaramillo-Martínez AF, Echeverry-Bocanegra A, Viáfara-Vega R, Hernández-Córdoba O, Cardona-Botero VE, Gutiérrez-Zúñiga J, Castro-Herrera F. 2014. Conservation status of the herpetofauna, protected areas, and current problems in Valle del Cauca, Colombia. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 8 (2): 1–18 (e87) - get paper here
  • VARGAS-RAMÍREZ, MARIO, JOHN L. CARR, UWE FRITZ 2013. Complex phylogeography in Rhinoclemmys melanosterna: conflicting mitochondrial and nuclear evidence suggests past hybridization (Testudines: Geoemydidae). Zootaxa 3670: 238–254 - get paper here
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