EMYSystem Text Only Species Page: Podocnemis unifilis

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order..........TESTUDINES (turtles, tortoises and terrapins)
family...........Podocnemidae ()
genus...............Podocnemis (South American Side-necked River Turtles)
species..............Podocnemis unifilis (Yellow-spotted River Turtle)
Original Description
Troschel 1848 : 647
ZMB 142; now lost.
Type Locality
"im Rupununi und Takutu " [= rivers in Guyana (formerly British Guiana)]
Original name
Podocnemis unifilis
Common Name
Yellow-spotted River Turtle
Orinoco to Amazon River drainages of Venezuela, eastern Colombia, eastern Ecuador, northeastern Peru, the Guianas, Brazil, and northern Bolivia
Reviewed by Groombridge (1982) and Pritchard and Trebbau (1984). Mittermeier and Wilson (1974) and Wermuth and Mertens (1977) suggested that Emys cayennensis Schweigger (1812:298) may be an older available name for this species. Based on Fretey's (1977:111) information about the type species of Emys cayennensis Schweigger and Emys dumeriliana Schweigger, Hoogmoed and Gruber (1983:346) concluded that E. cayennensis was a junior synonym of P. expansa and that E. dumeriliana was an older available name for P. unifilis. However, following Roger Bour's suggestion, Pritchard and Trebbau (1984:72) showed that the holotype of E. cayennensis (MNHN 8359) is a P. unifilis. The proper name for this species may thus be P. cayennensis, although the more stable name P. unifilis is retained here until the ICZN can act on the problem.
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