Temporal range: Eocene–Recent
|Australian snake-necked turtle|
Fitzinger, 1826 
|Testudo longicollis Shaw, 1794|
Chelodina, collectively known as snake-necked turtles, is a large and diverse genus of long-necked chelid turtles with a complicated nomenclatural history. Although in the past Macrochelodina and Macrodiremys have been considered separate genera and prior to that all the same, they are now considered subgenera of the Chelodina.
Chelodina is an ancient group of chelid turtles native to Australia, New Guinea, the Indonesian Rote Island, and East Timor. The turtles within this subgenus are small to medium-sized, with oval shaped carapace. They are side-necked turtles, meaning they tuck their head partially around the side of their body when threatened instead of directly backwards.
Macrochelodina represents those species that have often been termed the Chelodina B group, or thick necked snake neck turtles. The subgenus was described in 1985 by Wells & Wellington (as a new genus) but was not recognized until recently when it was shown that the name was valid. As such they are a side-neck turtle of the family Chelidae with extremely long necks and long flattened heads. They are specialist fish eaters using a strike and gape mode of feeding. They are medium to large species with the largest Chelodina (M.) expansa reaching shell lengths of some 45 cm (18 in). The first fossils (C. (M.) alanrixi) are known from Queensland from the Eocene period (Lapparent de Broin, F. de, & Molnar, R. E., 2001).
Macrodiremys is a monotypic genus recently split off from the rest of the Chelodina. Its sole member is the enigmatic Chelodina (Macrodiremys) colliei from Western Australia.
Synonymous names for the Chelodina Fitzinger 1826 genus include: Hydraspis Bell 1828, ChelyodinaAgassiz 1846:79 (nomen novum), Hesperochelodina Wells and Wellington 1985 (nomen nudum), Macrochelodina Wells and Wellington 1985 and Macrodiremys McCord and Joseph-Ouni 2007.
The type species for the Chelodina subgenus is Chelodina longicollis (Shaw, 1794). The type species for the Macrochelodina subgenus is Chelodina rugosa Ogilby 1890 which used to be called Chelodina oblonga Gray 1841. The type species for Macrodiremys is Chelodina colliei McCord and Joseph-Ouni 2007 which used to also be called Chelodina oblonga.
List of species
There are three identified extinct species of Chelodina:
- Chelodina alanrixi de Broin and Molnar, 2001 is a species of snake-necked fossil turtle which was described in 2001 using material gathered in Redbank Plains, Queensland, Australia. It is a member of the Chelidae Pleurodira. The fossil has been dated to the Eocene Epoch.
- Chelodina insculpta de Vis, 1897 is an extinct species of snake-necked turtle that was described in 1897 from material gathered in Darling Downs, Queensland, Australia, restricted. It is a member of the Chelidae; Pleurodira. The fossil has been dated as Pliocene to Pleistocene.
- Chelodina murrayi Yates, 2013 is an extinct species of snake-necked turtle from the Waite Formation on the Alcoota Scientific Reserve, north-east of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory of Australia. The species would appear to belong to the Chelodina novaeguineae group of species within the subgenus Chelodina.
- A binomial authority in parentheses indicates the species was originally described in a genus other than Pelusios.
- Fitzinger LJFJ. 1826. Neue classification der reptilien nach ihren natürlichen verwandtschaften. Nebst einer verwandtschafts-tafel und einem verzeichnisse der reptilien-sammlung des K. K. zoologischen museum's zu Wien. J.G. Hübner, Wien. vii, 66 pp.
- Georges, A. & Thomson, S. 2010. Diversity of Australasian freshwater turtles, with an annotated synonymy and keys to species. Zootaxa 2496: 1–37.
- Macrochelodina expansa (Grey, 1856) - Broad-Shelled Turtle Archived 2010-12-31 at the Wayback Machine
- Lapparent de Broin, F. de, & Molnar, R. E., 2001: Eocene chelid turtles from Redbank Plains, Southeast Queensland, Australia. Geodiversitas: Vol. 23, #1, pp. 41-79
- McCord, W.P. & Joseph-Uoni, M. (2007a). A New Genus of Australian Longneck Turtle (Testudines: Chelidae) and a New Species of Macrochelodina from the Kimberley Region of Western Australia (Australia. Reptilia 31:56–64.
- Turtle Taxonomy Working Group [van Dijk, P.P., Iverson, J.B., Rhodin, A.G.J., Shaffer, H.B., and Bour, R.]. 2014. Turtles of the world, 7th edition: annotated checklist of taxonomy, synonymy, distribution with maps, and conservation status. In: Rhodin, A.G.J., Pritchard, P.C.H., van Dijk, P.P., Saumure, R.A., Buhlmann, K.A., Iverson, J.B., and Mittermeier, R.A. (Eds.). Conservation Biology of Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises: A Compilation Project of the IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group. Chelonian Research Monographs 5(7):000.329–479, doi:10.3854/ crm.5.000.checklist.v7.2014.
- Turtle Taxonomy Working Group [van Dijk, P.P., Iverson, J.B., Rhodin, A.G.J., Shaffer, H.B., and Bour, R.]. 2014. "Turtles of the world, 7th edition: annotated checklist of taxonomy, synonymy, distribution with maps, and conservation status". In: Rhodin, A.G.J., Pritchard, P.C.H., van Dijk, P.P., Saumure, R.A., Buhlmann, K.A., Iverson, J.B., and Mittermeier, R.A. (Eds.). Conservation Biology of Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises: A Compilation Project of the IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group. Chelonian Research Monographs 5(7):000.329–479 doi:10.3854/crm.5.000.checklist.v7.2014
- McCord W, Thomson S. (2002). A new species of Chelodina (Testudines: Pleurodira: Chelidae) from Northern Australia. Journal of Herpetology 36(2):255-267. PDF
- Chelodina gunaleni, The Reptile Database
- Rhodin, Anders G.J. (1994b). Chelid turtles of the Australasian Archipelago: II. A new species of Chelodina from Roti Island, Indonesia. Breviora 498:1–31.PDF
- Rhodin, Anders G.J. (1994a). Chelid turtles of the Australasian Archipelago: I. A new species of Chelodina from southeastern Papua New Guinea. Breviora 497:1–36. PDF
- Wells, R.W. and Wellington, C.R. (1985). A classification of the amphibia and reptilia of Australia. Australian Journal of Herpetology, Supplementary Series. 1:1-61.
- Thomson S., Kennett R. and Georges A. (2000). A new species of long necked turtle (Chelidae:Chelodina) from the sandstone plateau of Arnhem Land, Northern Australia. Chelonian Conservation and Biology 3:675-685.
- Cann, John (1997d). Kuchling’s turtle. Monitor (Journal of the Victorian Herpetological Society) 9(1):41–44,32.
- Ogilby, J.D. 1890. Description of a new Australian tortoise. Rec. Austral. Mus. 1: 56-59
- McCord, William P. and Joseph-Ouni, Mehdi (2007b). A new genus of Australian longneck turtle (Testudines: Chelidae) and a new species of Macrochelodina from the Kimberley region of Western Australia. (Australia). Reptilia (GB) (Barcelona) 55:56–64.
- Gray, John Edward (1856a). On some new species of freshwater tortoises from North America, Ceylon and Australia, in the collection of the British Museum. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1855(23):197–202.
- Lapparent de Broin, F. de, & Molnar, R.E. (2001). Eocene chelid turtles from Redbank Plains, Southeast Queensland, Australia. Geodiversitas 23(1):41-79.
- de Vis, C.W. (1897). The extinct freshwater turtles of Queensland. Annals of the Queensland Museum 3: 3-7.
- Thomson, S. A. 2000. A Revision of the Fossil Chelid Turtles (Pleurodira) Described by C.W. De Vis, 1897. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 45(2):593-598.
- Yates (2013). A new species of long-necked turtle (Pleurodira: Chelidae: Chelodina) from the late Miocene Alcoota Local Fauna, Northern Territory, Australia. PeerJ 1:e170; doi:10.7717/peerj.170
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