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© Rune Midtgaard


Taxonomy of the family Pelomedusidae
Bibliography of the genus Pelomedusa
Biodiversity of the family Pelomedusidae








Genus
Pelomedusa

African Helmeted Turtles, Helmeted Terrapins, Marsh Terrapins

Starrbrust-Pelomedusenschildkröten

Afrikanske Hjelmskildpadder

1830 Pelomedusa Wagler (type species: Testudo galeata Schoepff 1792)
1835 Pentonyx Dumeril & Bibron (type species: Emys capensis Dumeril & Bibron 1835)

Contents: 10 species, of which 2 (20.0%) are endemic.
Endemism: 0% 100%
Remarks: Previous contained only a single species (subrufa), but now split into many different species (Petzold, Vargas-Ramírez, Kehlmaier, Vamberger, Branch, Preez, Hofmeyr, Meyer, Schleicher, Siroký & Fritz 2014). Reports from some countries listed below are currently not assigned to species level, pending verification from DNA material.
Introduced to: Madagascar.
Distribution: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa (Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West Province, Northern Cape, Western Cape), South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Pelomedusa barbata

Arabian Helmeted Turtle

Arabische Starrbrust-Pelomedusenschildkröte

Arabisk Hjelmskildpadde

2014 Pelomedusa barbata Petzold, Vargas-Ramírez, Kehlmaier, Vamberger, Branch, Preez, Hofmeyr, Meyer, Schleicher, Siroký & Fritz

Distribution: Saudi Arabia, Yemen.


Pelomedusa galeata

South African Helmeted Turtle

Südafrikanische Starrbrust-Pelomedusenschildkröte

Sydafrikansk Hjelmskildpadde

1792 Testudo galeata Schoepff [nomen conservandum; ICZN 1989: Opinion 1534]
Emys galeata Schweigger 1812
Hydraspis galeata Bell 1828
Pelomedusa galeata Wagler 1830
1835 Pentonyx capensis Duméril & Bibron (Petzold, Vargas-Ramírez, Kehlmaier, Vamberger, Branch, Preez, Hofmeyr, Meyer, Schleicher, Siroký & Fritz 2014)
1863 Pelomedusa nigra Gray (Petzold, Vargas-Ramírez, Kehlmaier, Vamberger, Branch, Preez, Hofmeyr, Meyer, Schleicher, Siroký & Fritz 2014)
Pelomedusa galeata nigra Hewitt 1935
Pelomedusa subrufa nigra Bour 1986
1935 Pelomedusa galeata devilliersi Hewitt (Petzold, Vargas-Ramírez, Kehlmaier, Vamberger, Branch, Preez, Hofmeyr, Meyer, Schleicher, Siroký & Fritz 2014)
1935 Pelomedusa galeata orangensis Hewitt (Petzold, Vargas-Ramírez, Kehlmaier, Vamberger, Branch, Preez, Hofmeyr, Meyer, Schleicher, Siroký & Fritz 2014)
Pelomedusa subrufa orangensis Hewitt 1937

Other common names:
nigra: Black African Helmeted Turtle
Remarks: Previously regarded as a synonym of subrufa (e.g., Fritz & Havas 2006). Revalidated as a separate species by Petzold, Vargas-Ramírez, Kehlmaier, Vamberger, Branch, Preez, Hofmeyr, Meyer, Schleicher, Siroký & Fritz (2014).
Distribution: Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, South Africa (Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, North West Province, Northern Cape, Western Cape).


Pelomedusa gehafie

Eritrean Helmeted Turtle

Eritreische Starrbrust-Pelomedusenschildkröte

Eritreisk Hjelmskildpadde

1835 Pentonyx gehafie Rüppell
Pelomedusa gehafiae [lapsus] Gray 1844
Pelomedusa galeata gehafie Parker 1936
Pelomedusa subrufa gehafie Mertens 1937
1910 Pelomedusa galeata var. disjuncta Vaillant & Grandidier (Petzold, Vargas-Ramírez, Kehlmaier, Vamberger, Branch, Preez, Hofmeyr, Meyer, Schleicher, Siroký & Fritz 2014)

Remarks: Previously regarded as a synonym of subrufa (e.g., Fritz & Havas 2006). Revalidated as a separate species by Petzold, Vargas-Ramírez, Kehlmaier, Vamberger, Branch, Preez, Hofmeyr, Meyer, Schleicher, Siroký & Fritz (2014).
Distribution: Eritrea, Sudan.


Pelomedusa kobe

Tanzanian Helmeted Turtle

Tanzania-Pelomedusenschildkröte

Tanzania-hjelmskildpadde

2014 Pelomedusa kobe Petzold, Vargas-Ramírez, Kehlmaier, Vamberger, Branch, Preez, Hofmeyr, Meyer, Schleicher, Siroký & Fritz

Distribution: Tanzania.


Pelomedusa neumanni

Kenyan Helmeted Turtle

Kenianische Starrbrust-Pelomedusenschildkröte

Kenyansk Hjelmskildpadde

2014 Pelomedusa neumanni Petzold, Vargas-Ramírez, Kehlmaier, Vamberger, Branch, Preez, Hofmeyr, Meyer, Schleicher, Siroký & Fritz

Distribution: Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania.


Pelomedusa olivacea

Sahelian Helmeted Turtle, (North African Helmeted Turtle)

Sahel-Starrbrust-Pelomedusenschildkröte

Sahel-hjelmskildpadde

1812 Emys olivacea Schweigger
Hydraspis olivacea Fitzinger 1835
Pelomedusa subrufa olivacea Loveridge 1941
1884 Pelomedusa gasconi Rochebrune (Petzold, Vargas-Ramírez, Kehlmaier, Vamberger, Branch, Preez, Hofmeyr, Meyer, Schleicher, Siroký & Fritz 2014)

Remarks: Previously regarded as a synonym of subrufa (e.g., Fritz & Havas 2006). Revalidated as a separate species by Petzold, Vargas-Ramírez, Kehlmaier, Vamberger, Branch, Preez, Hofmeyr, Meyer, Schleicher, Siroký & Fritz (2014). Records from some of the countries below are based on old records of subrufa, but herein tentatively included in the distribution of olivacea, although verification from DNA material is needed.
Distribution: Benin, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo.


Pelomedusa schweinfurthi

Central African Helmeted Turtle

Zentralafrikanische Starrbrust-Pelomedusenschildkröte

Centralafrikansk Hjelmskildpadde

2014 Pelomedusa schweinfurthi Petzold, Vargas-Ramírez, Kehlmaier, Vamberger, Branch, Preez, Hofmeyr, Meyer, Schleicher, Siroký & Fritz

Distribution: Central African Republic, Congo-Kinshasa, South Sudan.


Pelomedusa somalica

Somali Helmeted Turtle

Somalische Starrbrust-Pelomedusenschildkröte

Somalisk Hjelmskildpadde

2014 Pelomedusa somalica Petzold, Vargas-Ramírez, Kehlmaier, Vamberger, Branch, Preez, Hofmeyr, Meyer, Schleicher, Siroký & Fritz

Remarks: In addition to Somalia, somalica is confirmed from "Abyssinia" without precise locality, which therefore may refer to either Eritrea or Ethiopia.
Distribution: Somalia (see remarks).


Pelomedusa subrufa

Common Helmeted Turtle

Gewöhnliche Starrbrust-Pelomedusenschildkröte

Almindelig Hjelmskildpadde

1789 Testudo subrufa Bonnaterre
Emys subrufa Schweigger 1812
Chelys subrufa Gray in Griffith 1831
Hydraspis subrufa Gray 1831
Pelomedusa subrufa Gray 1844
Pelomedusa galeata subrufa Hewitt 1935
1798 Testudo badia Donndorff (Petzold, Vargas-Ramírez, Kehlmaier, Vamberger, Branch, Preez, Hofmeyr, Meyer, Schleicher, Siroký & Fritz 2014)
1798 Testudo rubicunda Suckow (Petzold, Vargas-Ramírez, Kehlmaier, Vamberger, Branch, Preez, Hofmeyr, Meyer, Schleicher, Siroký & Fritz 2014)
1849 Pentonyx americana Cornalia (Fritz & Havas 2006)
1935 Pelomedusa galeata damarensis Hewitt (Petzold, Vargas-Ramírez, Kehlmaier, Vamberger, Branch, Preez, Hofmeyr, Meyer, Schleicher, Siroký & Fritz 2014)
Pelomedusa subrufa damarensis Mertens 1937
1937 Pelomedusa subrufa wettsteini Mertens (Petzold, Vargas-Ramírez, Kehlmaier, Vamberger, Branch, Preez, Hofmeyr, Meyer, Schleicher, Siroký & Fritz 2014)

Remarks: Previously included galeata, gehafie, olivacea, and the populations now assigned to barbata, kobe, neumanni, schweinfurthi, somalica, and variabilis (Petzold, Vargas-Ramírez, Kehlmaier, Vamberger, Branch, Preez, Hofmeyr, Meyer, Schleicher, Siroký & Fritz 2014).
Introduced to: Madagascar.
Distribution: Angola, Botswana, Congo-Kinshasa, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa (Limpopo, Mpumalanga), Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Pelomedusa subrufa
© Henrik Bringsøe

Pelomedusa variabilis

West African Helmeted Turtle

Westafrikanische Starrbrust-Pelomedusenschildkröte

Vestafrikansk Hjelmskildpadde

2014 Pelomedusa variabilis Petzold, Vargas-Ramírez, Kehlmaier, Vamberger, Branch, Preez, Hofmeyr, Meyer, Schleicher, Siroký & Fritz

Distribution: Ghana, Ivory Coast.