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Terrapene triunguis (AGASSIZ, 1857)

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Higher TaxaEmydidae, Emydinae, Testudinoidea, Testudines (turtles)
Common NamesE: Three-toed Box Turtle 
SynonymCistudo triunguis AGASSIZ 1857: 445
Cistudo carolina var. cinosternoides — BOULENGER 1889: 117 (partim)
Terrapene carolina triunguis — STRECKER 1910: 121
Terrapene triunguis — BURT 1935
Terrapene carolina triunguis — WERMUTH & MERTENS 1961: 165
Terrapene carolina triunguis — MILSTEAD 1969
Terrapene carolina triunguis — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 53
Terrapene carolina triunguis — BARTLETT & BARTLETT 1999: 297
Terrapene carolina triunguis — CROTHER 2000
Terrapene carolina triunguis — RHODIN et al. 2010
Terrapene mexicana triunguis — MARTIN et al. 2013
Terrapene carolina triunguis — SPINKS et al. 2016
Terrapene carolina triunguis — RHODIN et al. 2017: 80 (undecided)
Terrapene mexicana triunguis — RHODIN et al. 2017: 80 (undecided)
Terrapene triunguis — RHODIN et al. 2017: 80 (undecided)
Terrapene carolina triunguis — SPINNER 2019
Terrapene carolina triunguis — THOMSON et al. 2021
Terrapene triunguis — TTWG 2021 
DistributionUSA (Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas)

Type locality: “Louisiana and Mississippi . . . New Orleans . . . Osage River . . . and from Georgia.” Restricted to “New Orleans, Louisiana,” by Schmidt (1953: 94).  
TypesSyntypes: USNM 86871 (formerly MCZ 1519, 1522–1525) (alcoholic adult female, CL 119 mm), New Orleans, Louisiana, collected by N. B. Benedict, date unknown, cataloged 6 Dec 1932 (see also Reynolds et al. 2007); USNM 86872 (formerly MCZ 1519) (alcoholic adult female, CL 114 mm), locality, collector, and catalog date as for USNM 86871 (see Reynolds et al. 2007) 
CommentSubspecies: following Martin et al. (2013) who removed Terrapene carolina triunguis (AGASSIZ 1857), T. c. mexicana (GRAY 1849), and T. c. yucatana (BOULENGER 1895) and assign them to T. mexicana. Spinks et al. 2016 suggested to synonymize mexicana with T. c. triunguis without commenting on the priority issue. Martin et al. (2013) suggested elevating a clade consisting of triunguis, mexicana, and yucatana to a distinct species: Terrapene mexicana ssp. (Martin et al. 2013). This was rejected by Fritz & Havaš 2014.

Hybridization: Terrapene carolina triunguis (AGASSIZ 1857) and Terrapene ornata ornata (AGASSIZ 1857) may hybridize in Texas (Lutterschmidt et al. 2007).

Phylogenetics: T. coahuila, carolina, and triunguis are closely related phylogenetically, although they are often treated as separate species. Genetically, they may be more appropriately treated as subspecies (see Thomson et al. 2021).

Distribution: for a range map of carolina, bauri, major, triunguis, ornata, and luteola, see Martin et al. 2013, TTWG 2021.

Habitat: terrestrial (usually in forests)

See also T. carolina. 
  • Agassiz, Louis 1857. Contributions to the Natural History of the United States of America. vol. 1. Little, Brown & Co., Boston, lii + 452 pp. - get paper here
  • Bartlett, R. D. & Bartlett, P. 1999. A Field Guide to Texas Reptiles and Amphibians. Gulf Publishing Co., Houston, Texas, 331 pp.
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1889. Catalogue of the chelonians, rhynchocephalians, and crocodiles in the British Museum (Natural History). British Museum, London, 311 pp.
  • Burt, Charles E. 1935. Further records of the ecology and distribution of amphibians and reptiles in the middle west. American Midland Naturalist 16 (3): 311-336 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Martin, Bradley T.; Neil P. Bernstein, Roger D. Birkhead, Jim F. Koukl, Steven M. Mussmann, John S. Placyk Jr. 2013. Sequence-based molecular phylogenetics and phylogeography of the American box turtles (Terrapene spp.) with support from DNA barcoding. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 68 (1): 119–134 - get paper here
  • Milstead, W.W. 1969. Studies on the evolution of box turtles (genus Terrapene). Bulletin of the Florida State Museum, Biological Sciences 14 (1): 1-113. - get paper here
  • Spinks, P.Q., Thomson, R.C., McCartney-Melstad, E., Bradley Shaffer, H. 2016. Phylogeny and temporal diversification of the New World pond turtles (Emydidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 103: 85-97 - get paper here
  • Spinner, L. 2019. Eingedost! Lebensweise und Haltung nordamerikanischer Dosenschildkröten. Reptilia (Münster) 24 (137): 48-55 - get paper here
  • Strecker, J.K. 1910. Description of a new solitary spadefoot toad (Scaphiopus hurterii) from Texas, with other herpetological notes. Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington 23: 115-122 - get paper here
  • Thomson, R. C., Spinks, P. Q., & Shaffer, H. B. 2021. A global phylogeny of turtles reveals a burst of climate-associated diversification on continental margins. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 118 (7) - get paper here
  • TTWG; Anders G.J. Rhodin, John B. iverson, Roger Bour, Uwe Fritz, Arthur GeoRges, H. BRadley Shaffer, and Peter Paul van Dijk 2017. Turtles of the World: Annotated Checklist and Atlas of Taxonomy, Synonymy, Distribution, and Conservation Status (8th Ed.). In: Rhodin, A.G.J., Iverson, J.B., van Dijk, P.P., Saumure, R.A., Buhlmann, K.A., Pritchard, P.C.H., and Mittermeier, R.A. (Ed Chelonian Research Monographs 7:1–292. doi: 10.3854/crm.7.checklist.atlas.v8.2017 - 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
  • Wermuth, H., and R. Mertens. 1961. Schildkröten, Krokodile, Brückenechsen. Gustav Fischer Verlag, Jena. xxvi + 422 pp.
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