Indian softshell turtle

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Indian softshell turtle
Nilssonia gangetica.jpg
Immature (the dark eyespots on the carapace are indistinct or absent in adults)[2]
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Order: Testudines
Suborder: Cryptodira
Family: Trionychidae
Genus: Nilssonia[1]
Species: N. gangetica
Binomial name
Nilssonia gangetica
(Cuvier, 1825)[1][3]
  • Trionyx gangeticus Cuvier, 1825
  • Trionyx javanicus Gray, 1831
  • Testudo gotaghol Buchanan-Hamilton, 1831 (nomen nudum)
  • Aspidonectes gangeticus Wagler, 1833
  • Gymnopus duvaucelii Duméril & Bibron, 1835
  • Tyrse gangetica Gray, 1844
  • Trionyx gangetiga Gray, 1873 (ex errore)
  • Isola gangetica Baur, 1893
  • Aspideretes gangeticus Hay, 1904
  • Trionyx gangeticus mahanaddicus Annandale, 1912
  • Gymnopus duvaucelli Smith, 1931
  • Amyda gangetica Mertens, Müller & Rust, 1934
  • Trionix gangeticus Richard, 1999

The Indian softshell turtle (Nilssonia gangetica), or Ganges softshell turtle is a species of softshell turtle found in South Asia in rivers such as the Ganges, Indus and Mahanadi. This vulnerable turtle reaches a carapace length of up to 94 cm (37 in).[2] It feeds mostly on fish, amphibians, carrion and other animal matter, but also takes aquatic plants.[2]


Costal plates eight pairs, the last well developed and in contact throughout on the median line; two neurals between the first pair of costals; plates coarsely pitted and vermieulate. Epiplastra narrowly separated from each other in front of the ontoplastron, which forms an obtuse or a right angle; plastral callosities very large, hyo-hypoplastral, xiphiplastral, and, in old specimens, ento-plastral. Dorsal skin of young with longitudinal ridges of small tubercles. Head moderate; snout (on the skull) about as long as the diameter of the orbit; interorbital region, in the adult, considerably narrower than the nasal fossa; postorbital arch one third to one half the greatest diameter of the orbit; mandible with the inner edge strongly raised, forming a sharp ridge, which sends off a short perpendicular process at the symphysis; the diameter of the mandible at the symphysis does not exceed the diameter of the orbit. Olive above; back of young vermiculated with fine black lines, but without ocelli; head with a black longitudinal streak from between the eyes to the nape, intersected by two or three inverted-V shaped black streaks; lower parts yellowish. Length of dorsal disk 2 feet.[5]



  1. ^ a b c Rhodin 2011, p. 000.207
  2. ^ a b c Ernst, C.H.; Altenburg, R.G.M.; and Barbour, R.W. (1997). Aspideretes gangeticus, Turtles of the World. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  3. ^ a b Nilssonia gangetica from the Redlist
  4. ^ Fritz Uwe; Peter Havaš (2007). "Checklist of Chelonians of the World". Vertebrate Zoology 57 (2): 310. ISSN 18640-5755. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-12-17. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  5. ^ Boulenger, G. A. 1890. Fauna of British India. Reptilia and Batrachia.
  • Anderson,J. 1872 Note on Trionyx gangeticus, and Trionyx hurum, B. Hamilton. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (4) 9: 382-383
  • Anderson,J. 1872 On Trionyx gangeticus, Cuvier, Trionyx hurum, B.H. and Dr. Gray. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (4) 10: 219-222
  • Cuvier, G.L.C.F.D. 1825 Recherches sur les ossemens fossiles de quadrupèdes, où l'on rétablit les caractères du plusieurs espèces d'animaux que les révolutions du globe paroissent avoir détruites. Dufour & d'Ocagne, Paris. ed. 3, 5 vols. (Parts of this 5 volume edition are cited as appearing from 1821 to 1824; volume 5 appeared in 1825. It consists mostly of articles reprinted from Annales du Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris. See also Cuvier 1812.)
  • Webb, R.G. 2004 Trionychid turtle miscellany. Hamadryad 28 (1&2): 119-121

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