West African mud turtle

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West African mud turtle
Pelusios castaneus002.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Suborder: Pleurodira
Family: Pelomedusidae
Genus: Pelusios
Species: P. castaneus
Binomial name
Pelusios castaneus[1][2]
(Schweigger, 1812)[1][2]
  • Emys castanea Schweigger, 1812
  • Sternothaerus leachianus
    Bell, 1825
  • Pelusios castaneus
    Wagler, 1830
  • Chelys (Sternotherus) castaneus Gray, 1831
  • Sternotherus castaneus
    — Gray, 1831
  • Sternotherus leachianus
    A.M.C. Duméril & Bibron, 1835
  • Clemmys (Pelusios) castanea Fitzinger, 1835
  • Sternotherus derbianus
    Gray, 1844
  • Sternothaerus castaneus
    — Gray, 1856
  • Sternothaerus derbianus
    — Gray, 1856
  • Sternothaerus nigricans castaneus Siebenrock, 1906
  • Sternothaerus nigricans var. castanea Boulenger, 1907
  • Pelusios derbianus
    Schmidt, 1919
  • Pelusios nigricans castaneus Hewitt, 1927
  • Pelusios seychellensis Siebenrock, 1906
  • Pelusios subniger castaneus Mertens, 1933
  • Pelusios castaneus castaneus Laurent, 1965
  • Pelusios castaneus derbianus — Laurent, 1965
  • Pelusios derbyanus
    Pritchard, 1967 (ex errore)

The West African mud turtle (West African side-necked turtle, swamp terrapin[3]) (Pelusios castaneus) is a species of turtle in the Pelomedusidae family. Pelusios castaneus is endemic to West and Middle Africa.


Pelusios seychellensis lectotype

The so-called Seychelles black terrapin, Seychelles mud turtle, or Seychelles terrapin was considered a species of turtle (Pelusios seychellensis) in the Pelomedusidae family, endemic to Seychelles.

Genetic analysis of the lectotype has shown, however, that this turtle was never a separate species, and is in fact Pelusios castaneus.[4] It is possible that specimens were confused in a private collection before being acquired by the Zoological Museum Hamburg in 1901, or else mislabeled there.[5]


Found in the following countries of West and Middle Africa: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Príncipe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo. Introduced: Guadeloupe.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Rhodin 2011, p. 000.215
  2. ^ a b c Fritz 2007, pp. 346-347
  3. ^ Broadley, Donald G. (1973). "Provisional List of Vernacular Names for Rhodesian Reptiles and Amphibians". The Journal of the Herpetological Association of Africa 10 (1). doi:10.1080/04416651.1973.9650652. 
  4. ^ "One Extinct Turtle Less: Turtle Species in the Seychelles Never Existed". Science Daily. Retrieved April 4, 2013. 
  5. ^ Stuckas, Heiko; Gemel, Richard; Fritz, Uwe; Canestrelli, Daniele (April 3, 2013). "One Extinct Turtle Species Less: Pelusios seychellensis Is Not Extinct, It Never Existed". PLoS ONE 8 (4). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0057116. Retrieved April 4, 2013. 


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