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Sternotherus intermedius SCOTT, GLENN & RISSLER, 2017

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Higher TaxaKinosternidae (Kinosterninae), Kinosternoidea, Testudines (turtles)
Common NamesE: Intermediate Musk Turtle 
SynonymSternotherus intermedius SCOTT, GLENN & RISSLER 2017
Sternotherus intermedius — TTWG 2021 
DistributionUSA (S Alabama, NW Florida)

Type locality: Blackwater River ca. 1 mi NW of Milton airfield (now Peter Prince Field), Santa Rosa Co. FL. This series was collected by H. Harima, J.D. Williams and Dr. J. L. Wolfe.  
TypesHolotype: UAHC68-814, male 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (intermedius): Corresponds to the S. intermedius lineage (Figs. 2.4 & 2.7). This clade is geographically cohesive containing the greater Choctawhatchee and Escambia River drainages in southern Alabama and the Florida panhandle. Morphologically, S. intermedius has a dark spotted head on a light background with some degree of striping on the lateral faces of the neck; a single or paired gular scutes are present; a vertebral keel is present with lateral keels reduced or possibly lacking in some populations. 
CommentSee also entry and literature of S. minor.

Habitat: freshwater (swamps, quiet rivers)

Publication date: the description of S. intermedius was published in 2017, although the final (print) version says 2018.

The validity of S. intermedius is doubtful, as it is a vaguely diagnosable “hybrid” population of S. minor minor and S. minor peltifer. It may be more appropriate to retain the subspecies structure of S. minor and classify them as a subspecies (together with S. depressus, which also nests within the minor complex).

Distribution: see map in Scott et al. 2017: Fig. 2. 
EtymologyS. intermedius has been named after medieval Latin intermediātus, past participle of intermediāre. This species is named for its long recognition as being a hypothetical “intermediate” form between S. peltifer and S. minor (e.g. Ernst et al., 1988), as turtles now attributed to S. intermedius have historically been recognized as hybrids between the two aforementioned species due to having a superficially intermediate morphology. 
  • Scott, P. A., Glenn, T. C., & Rissler, L. J. 2017. Resolving taxonomic turbulence and uncovering cryptic diversity in the musk turtles (Sternotherus) using robust demographic modeling. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution - 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
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