Argentine snake-necked turtle

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Argentine snake-necked turtle
Hydromedusa tectifera.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Family: Chelidae
Genus: Hydromedusa
Species: H. tectifera
Binomial name
Hydromedusa tectifera
Cope, 1869
Synonyms[1]
  • Hydromedusa tectifera Cope, 1870
  • Hydromedusa platanensis Gray, 1873
  • Hydromedusa wagleri Günther, 1884
  • Hydromedusa tectifara Nutaphand, 1979 (ex errore)

The Argentine snake-necked turtle,[2] also known as the South American snake-necked turtle[2] (Hydromedusa tectifera) is a species of turtle, known for the long neck which gave it its name. Despite appearances, the Argentine snake-necked turtle is probably more closely related to the Mata mata (Chelus fimbriatus) than to the Australian snake-necked turtles in the genus Chelodina.[3] It is found in northern Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and southern Brazil.[4] Not much is known about them, as they have not been extensively researched.[5] They are a popular pet in the exotic pet trade.

Anatomy and morphology[edit]

The Argentine Snake-necked captured in fishing for deception.

The turtle can reach up to 28 centimeters (11 inches) in length. Its carapace is strongly keeled, and can also be distinguished by black and yellowish markings along its head and neck. Generally, the females are larger than the males, who often have larger tails.[3][6]

Natural history[edit]

Argentine snake-necked turtles live in slow-moving ponds, rivers, streams, and marshes, preferably with aquatic vegetation. In coastal areas, they will enter brackish water, and they may hibernate in colder areas of their distribution. The turtles are carnivorous and eat snails, aquatic insects, fish, and amphibians. It attacks its prey with a combination of the Matamata's vacuum suction and the stabbing neck motions of other snake-necked turtles.[3] Courtship and mating has not been extensively observed in this species, although it is known that nesting occurs in the spring at the riverbanks. The eggs are 34x22 mm long, white, and brittle-shelled. Hatchlings are about 34 mm long, and have more wrinkled carapaces than adults.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fritz Uwe; Peter Havaš (2007). "Checklist of Chelonians of the World". Vertebrate Zoology 57 (2): 335. Archived from the original on 2010-12-17. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Zipcodezoo.com URL accessed March 24, 2007.
  3. ^ a b c Tortoise.org - Argentine Snake-necked Turtle URL accessed March 24, 2007.
  4. ^ Hydromedusa URL accessed March 28, 2007.
  5. ^ ANIMAL HOUSE SYSTEM FOR FRESHWATER TURTLE URL accessed March 29, 2007.
  6. ^ a b Turtles of the World URL accessed March 28, 2007.