Emydura macquarii

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Emydura macquarii
Temporal range: Eocene–Recent
Macquarie turtle
Emydura macquarii
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Suborder: Pleurodira
Family: Chelidae
Genus: Emydura
E. macquarii
Binomial name
Emydura macquarii
(Gray, 1830)[1]
  • E. m. macquarrii (Gray, 1830)[1]
  • E. m. krefftii (Gray, 1871)[2]
  • E. m. nigra McCord et al., 2003[3]
  • E. m. emmotti Cann et al., 2003[4]

E. m. macquarii (Gray 1830)

  • Emys macquaria Cuvier 1829:11 (nomen nudum)
  • Chelys (Hydraspis) macquarii
    Gray 1830:15
  • Hydraspis macquarrii Gray 1831:40 (nomen novum)
  • Platemys macquaria A.M.C. Duméril & Bibron 1835:438 (nomen novum)
  • Hydraspis australis Gray 1841:445 (10:41) (nomen dubium)
  • Euchelymys sulcifera Gray 1871a:118
  • Emydura macquariae
    Boulenger 1889:ix (nomen novum)
  • Emydura signata Ahl 1932:127
  • Emydura canni Worrell 1970:pl.6 (nomen nudum)
  • Chelymys cooki Wells & Wellington 1985:8 (nomen nudum)
  • Chelymys johncanni Wells & Wellington 1985:8 (nomen nudum)
  • Emydura macquarii binjing
    Cann 1998:116
  • Emydura macquarii dharra
    Cann 1998:120
  • Emydura macquarii gunabarra
    Cann 1998:123
  • Emydura macquarii dharuk
    Cann 1998:126

E. m. emmotti Cann, McCord & Joseph-Ouni in Mc-Cord, Cann & Joseph-Ouni 2003

  • Chelymys windorah Wells & Wellington 1985:8 (nomen nudum)
  • Emydura macquarii emmotti Cann, McCord & Joseph-Ouni in McCord, Cann & Joseph-Ouni 2003:59

E. m. krefftii (Gray 1871)

  • Chelymys krefftii Gray 1871b:366
  • Chelymys victoriae marmorata
    Gray 1872d:506
  • Chelymys victoriae sulcata
    Gray 1872d:506

E. m. nigra McCord, Cann & Joseph-Ouni 2003

  • Tropicochelymys insularis Wells & Wellington 1985:9 (nomen nudum)
  • Emydura macquarii nigra McCord, Cann & Joseph-Ouni 2003:59

Emydura macquarii (common names include Murray River turtle,[7] Macquarie River turtle,[8] eastern short-necked turtle, eastern short-neck turtle and southern river turtle)[9] is a species of turtle in the family Chelidae. It is a wide-ranging species that occurs throughout many of the rivers of the eastern half of Australia. It is found primarily in the Macquarie River basin and all its major tributaries, along with a number of coastal rivers up the New South Wales Coast. It is also found in the coastal Queensland rivers and the Cooper Creek ecosystem, along with Fraser Island.

It is often infected with the flatworm Choanocotyle elegans.[10]

Collection history and discovery[edit]

This species has a long and complicated nomenclatural history, including even its original description. The holotype was originally collected by René Primevère Lesson (1794–1849) and Prosper Garnot (1794–1838) in 1824. During an expedition on the La Coquille, captained by Louis Isidore Duperrey, which visited Sydney, Australia, from 17 January - 25 March 1824, they visited Bathurst, and collected the holotype from the Macquarie River.[11]

The first description of the species was offered by Baron Georges Cuvier in 1829,[12] but this description is nowadays seen as a nomen nudum. Hence, the description by John Edward Gray in 1831[1] is considered the valid description.

Sex determination[edit]

E. macquarii uses the XY sex-determination system, making it one of the few turtle species that has a genetic sex-determination mechanism. The X and Y chromosomes are macrochromosomes, unlike most genetically sex-determined turtles including its close relative Chelodina longicollis, which has microchromosomes. It is also hypothesized that this turtle's sex chromosomes were formed from the translocation of an ancestral Y microchromosome onto an autosome. It can often be difficult to determine the gender of a turtle when it is young, but it will get more apparent when it grows.[13]


The generic name, Emydura, is derived from the Greek emys (freshwater turtle) and the Greek oura (tail), Latinized to ura. Its grammatical gender is feminine. The specific epithet, macquarii, refers to the turtle's type locality: the Macquarie River. It would seem that the species was not named after Governor Lachlan Macquarie for whom the river is named.[11][14]

The subspecific name, emmotti, is in honor of Australian farmer and naturalist Angus Emmott (born 1962).[14]

The subspecific name, krefftii, is in honor of German-born Australian naturalist Gerard Krefft.[14]

Conservation status[edit]

Emydura macquarii is listed as 'vulnerable' in the state of South Australia under relevant state legislation.[15]



  1. ^ a b c Gray JE (1830). "A synopsis of the species of the class Reptilia". pp. 1-110. In: Griffith E (1830). The Animal Kingdom arranged in Conformity with its Organisation by the Baron Cuvier. London: Whitaker and Treacher and Co. 9:481 + 110pp.
  2. ^ Gray JE (1871). "Notes on Australian freshwater tortoises". Annals and Magazine of Natural History, Fourth Series 8:366.
  3. ^ McCord W, Cann J, Joseph-Uoni M (2003). "Fraser Island short-neck turtle, Emydura macquarii nigra ssp. nov." Reptilia 27: 62-63.
  4. ^ Cann J, McCord W, Joseph-Uoni M (2003). "Emmort's short-neck turtle, Emydura macquarii emmotti ssp. nov." Reptilia 27: 60-61.
  5. ^ Georges A, Thomson S (2010). "Diversity of Australasian freshwater turtles, with an annotated synonymy and keys to species". Zootaxa 2496: 1–37.
  6. ^ Turtle Taxonomy Working Group [ van Dijk PP, Iverson JB, Rhodin AGJ, Shaffer HB, Bour R ]. (2014). "Turtles of the World, 7th edition: annotated checklist of taxonomy, synonymy, distribution with maps, and conservation status". In: Rhodin AGJ, Pritchard PCH, van Dijk PP, Saumure RA, Buhlmann KA, Iverson JB, Mittermeier RA (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.
  7. ^ Species "Emydura macquarii " at The Reptile Database
  8. ^ Freshwater Turtles of South Australia
  9. ^ Rhodin, Anders G.J.; Iverson, John B.; Roger, Bour; Fritz, Uwe; Georges, Arthur; Shaffer, H. Bradley; van Dijk, Peter Paul (3 August 2017). "Turtles of the World, 2017 update: Annotated checklist and atlas of taxonomy, synonymy, distribution, and conservation status (8th Ed.)" (PDF). Chelonian Research Monographs. 7: 197. ISBN 978-1-5323-5026-9. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  10. ^ Sue, Lindsay Jue (1998). "Description and life-cycle of two new species of Choanocotyle n. g. (Trematoda: Plagiorchiida), parasites of Australian freshwater turtles, and the erection of the family Choanocotylidae". Systematic Parasitology 41 (1): 47–61. doi:10.1023/A:1006074125118
  11. ^ a b Cann J (1998). Australian Freshwater Turtles. Singapore: Beumont Publishing. p. 101. ISBN 978-0646339788.
  12. ^ Cuvier GLCFD (1829). Le Regne Animal. Vol. 2 XV. Paris: Deterville, p. 406 (ii).
  13. ^ Martinez, Pedro Alonzo; Ezaz, Tariq; Valenzuela, Nicole; Georges, Arthur; Graves, Jennifer A. Marshall (9 August 2008). "An XX/XY heteromorphic sex chromosome system in the Australian chelid turtle Emydura macquarii: A new piece in the puzzle of sex chromosome evolution in turtles". Chromosome Research. 16 (6): 815–825. doi:10.1007/s10577-008-1228-4. ISSN 0967-3849. PMID 18679815. S2CID 18834902.
  14. ^ a b c Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Emydura macquarii, p. 165; E. m. emmotti, p. 83; E. m. krefftii, p. 146).
  15. ^ Atlas of Living Australia "Emydura macquarii " Archived 26 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 2013-11-20.