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Australian short-necked turtles
Macquarie turtle
Emydura macquarii
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Suborder: Pleurodira
Family: Chelidae
Subfamily: Chelodininae
Genus: Emydura
Bonaparte, 1836[1]

6, and see text

  • Emydura Bonaparte 1836:7
  • Emydura
    Bonaparte 1836:7
  • Chelymys
    Gray 1844:42
  • Euchelymys
    Gray 1871:118
  • Tropicochelymys
    Wells and Wellington 1985:9

Emydura, the Australian short-necked turtles, are a genus of turtles in the family Chelidae. It was paraphyletic with Elseya. Consequently, it was split into two genera Myuchelys and Elseya by Thomson & Georges, 2009.[4] They can grow quite large,[5] 30 cm or more is not unusual and have a life span of around 20–30 years. They generally do not hibernate as their warmer climate lets them remain active all year round; they also spend more time in the water than other varieties. They are considered omnivore but rely on a constant supply of meat to remain healthy, feeding on basically anything that will fit into their mouth.

They are characterised by a white strip starting at their nose and leading down their neck, as well as a more rigged shell. In Australia, the public require a basic reptiles licence to purchase these animals; taking from the wild is strictly prohibited.


Species and notable subspecies arranged according to most recent review of Georges & Thomson, 2010[2] with some modification after Kehlmaier et al. 2019[6][2] are:


  1. ^ Bonaparte, C.L. 1836. Cheloniorum Tabula Analytica. Rome, 9 pp.
  2. ^ a b c Georges, A. & Thomson, S. 2010. Diversity of Australasian freshwater turtles, with an annotated synonymy and keys to species. Zootaxa 2496: 1–37.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ Thomson, S. & Georges, A. (2009) Myuchelys gen. nov. —a new genus for Elseya latisternum and related forms of Australian freshwater turtle (Testudines: Pleurodira: Chelidae) Zootaxa 2053: 32–42.
  5. ^ Fitzsimmons, Craig (24 December 2019). "Desert turtle thriving in outback's boom or bust drought conditions". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 24 December 2019.
  6. ^ Kehlmaier, C., Zhang, X., Georges, A., Campbell, P.D., Thomson, S., & Fritz, U. 2019. Mitogenomics of historical type specimens of Australasian turtles: clarification of taxonomic confusion and old mitochondrial introgression. Scientific Reports (2019) 9:5841 | https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-42310-x
  7. ^ Gray, J.E. 1830. A synopsis of the species of the class Reptilia. pp 1–110 in Griffith, E. The animal kingdom arranged in conformity with its organisation by the Baron Cuvier. London: Whitaker and Treacher and Co. 9:481 + 110pp.
  8. ^ Krefft, G. 1876. Notes on Australian animals in New Guinea with description of a new freshwater tortoise belonging to the genus Euchelymys. Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale de Genova. 1:390-394.
  9. ^ Cann, J. 1997. The northern yellow-faced turtle. Monitor 9(1):24-29, 34–35.
  10. ^ Gray, J.E. 1841. Description of some hitherto unrecorded species of Australian reptiles and batrachians. pp 51–57. in Gray, J.E. Zoological Miscellaney. London: Treutal, Wurtz and Co.