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Sternotherus peltifer SMITH & GLASS, 1947

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Higher TaxaKinosternidae (Kinosterninae), Kinosternoidea, Testudines (turtles)
Common NamesE: Stripeneck Musk Turtle 
SynonymSternotherus peltifer SMITH & GLASS 1947: 22
Sternotherus minor peltifer — TINKLE & WEBB 1955
Sternotherus minor peltifer — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 46
Sternotherus minor peltifer — PALMER & BRASWELL 1995
Sternotherus minor peltifer — CROTHER 2000
Sternotherus minor peltifer — RHODIN et al. 2010
Sternotherus peltifer — SCOTT et al. 2017
Sternotherus peltifer — TTWG 2021 
DistributionUSA (Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina)

Type locality: “Bassfield, Jefferson Davis County, 30 miles west of Hattiesburg, Miss.”  
TypesHolotype: TCWC 1205, male 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (peltifer): see Smith and Glass (1947) and Tinkle and Webb (1955). Morphologically, S. peltifer can be diagnosed from all other species of Sternotherus by this combination of characteristics: a round low carapace with flared margins that may possess a single low keel in young animals (but lateral keels are lacking), distinct stripes on the side of the head and neck with a reticulate pattern of lines on the dorsum of the head (not spots), small paired gular scutes, and a single pair of neck barbels. Distributionally, S. peltifer occurs in the greater Mobile River Basin of Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Georgia, Upper Tennessee River drainages of Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Virginia and North Carolina, Pearl River drainage of Louisiana and Mississippi and Pascagoula River drainages of Mississippi and Alabama. We note that we only included a single individual of S. peltifer from the Tennessee River drainage; thus, further work is needed to determine if individuals from this region should be attributed to S. peltifer, given the hypothesized isolation between animals in the Tennessee and greater Mobile River systems (Stejneger 1923). See S. depressus for a note about hybridization (Scott et al. 2017). 
CommentSee also entry and literature of S. minor.

Habitat: freshwater (swamps, quiet rivers)

Distribution: see map in Scott et al. 2017: Fig. 2. 
EtymologyNamed after Latin pelta = half-moon shaped buckler or target and Latin -fer = bearing, referring to the small bridge scutes. 
  • 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.
  • 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
  • McCoy, C. J.; Oscar A. Flores-Villela, Richard C. Vogt, Michael Pappas & J. Kelly McCoy 2020. Ecology of Riverine Turtle Communities in the Southern United States: Food Resource Use and Trophic Niche Dimensions Chelonian Conservation and Biology 19 (2): 197-208 - get paper here
  • Palmer, W.M. & Braswell, A.L. 1995. Reptiles of North Carolina. Univ. North Carolina Press
  • 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
  • Smith, Hobart M. & Glass, Bryan P. 1947. A new musk turtle for southeastern United States. J. Washington Acad. Sci. 37 (1): 22-24
  • Tinkle, D.W., and R.G. Webb 1955. A new species of Sternotherus with a discussion of the Sternotherus carinatus complex (Chelonia, Kinosternidae). Tulane Stud. Zool. 3 (3): 53 - 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
  • TTWG; Rhodin, A.G.J.; van Dijk, P.P.; Iverson, J.B. & Shaffer, H.B. [turtle taxonomy working group] 2010. Turtles of the World, 2010 Update: Annotated Checklist of Taxonomy, Synonymy, Distribution, and Conservation Status. Chelonian Research Monographs (ISSN 1088-7105) No. 5, doi:10.3854/crm.5.000.checklist.v3.2010 - get paper here
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