Temporal range: Eocene–Recent
E. m. macquarii (Gray 1830)
E. m. emmotti Cann, McCord & Joseph-Ouni in Mc-Cord, Cann & Joseph-Ouni 2003
E. m. krefftii (Gray 1871)
E. m. nigra McCord, Cann & Joseph-Ouni 2003
Emydura macquarii, the Murray River turtle, is a wide-ranging species that occurs throughout many of the rivers of the eastern half of Australia. It is found primarily in the Murray 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.
Collection history and discovery
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.
The first description of the species was offered by Baron Georges Cuvier in 1829, but this description is nowadays seen as a nomen nudum. Hence, the description by John Edward Gray in 1831 is considered the valid description.
E. macquarii uses the XY sex-determination system, making it one of the few turtle species that has a genetic SDM. The X and Y chromosomes are macrochromosomes, unlike most GSD 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.
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.
The subspecific name, emmotti, is in honor of Australian farmer and naturalist Angus Emmott (born 1962).
Common names for E. macquarii include Murray River turtle, Murray River tortoise, Macquarie turtle, and Murray short neck turtle.
Emydura macquarii is listed as 'Vulnerable' in the state of South Australia under relevant state legislation.
- 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.
- Gray, J.E. 1871. Notes on Australian freshwater tortoises. Annals and Magazine of Natural History (4)8:366.
- McCord, W., Cann, J. and Joseph-Uoni, M. Fraser Island short-neck turtle, Emydura macquarii nigra ssp. nov. Reptilia 27: 62-63
- Cann, J. McCord, W. and Joseph-Uoni, M. (2003) Emmort's short-neck turtle, Emydura macquarii emmotti ssp. nov. Reptilia 27: 60-61
- Georges, A. & Thomson, S. 2010. Diversity of Australasian freshwater turtles, with an annotated synonymy and keys to species. Zootaxa 2496: 1–37.
- 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.
- 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. Lindsay Jue Sue, Systematic Parasitology, September 1998, Volume 41, Issue 1, pages 47–61, doi:10.1023/A:1006074125118
- Cann, J. 1998. Australian Freshwater Turtles. Beumont Publishing, Singapore. pp. 101
- Cuvier, G. L. C. F. D. 1829. Le Regne Animal. Vol. 2 XV. Paris: Deterville, pp. 406 (ii)
- Martinez, Pedro Alonzo; Ezaz, Tariq; Valenzuela, Nicole; Georges, Arthur; Graves, Jennifer A. Marshall (2008-08-09). "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.
- 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 emmotti, p. 83; E. m. krefftii, p. 146).
- Atlas of Living Australia "Emydura macquarii " Retrieved 2013-11-20.