Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer
Article
Published: 2022-04-08

Disentangling the Pelodiscus axenaria complex, with the description of a new Chinese species and neotype designation for P. axenaria (Zhou, Zhang & Fang, 1991)

College of Life Science and Technology, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632, China
Museum of Zoology, Senckenberg Dresden, A. B. Meyer Building, 01109 Dresden, Germany
Museum of Zoology, Senckenberg Dresden, A. B. Meyer Building, 01109 Dresden, Germany
Institute of Zoology, Guangdong Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510260, China
21 Bercsényi St., 2464 Gyúró, Hungary
Reptilia China genetics morphology Pelodiscus shipian sp. nov. phylogeny soft-shelled turtle taxonomy

Abstract

We describe a new species from the Pelodiscus axenaria complex from Hunan and Jiangxi Provinces, China. Also, the application of the name P. axenaria (Zhou, Zhang & Fang, 1991) is clarified by designating a neotype for this species. Besides its genetic divergence, the new species differs from all other Pelodiscus species, including the two other taxa constituting the complex (P. axenaria, P. huangshanensis), in the following combination of morphological traits: (1) small adult size, <15 cm carapace length; (2) carapace distinctly keeled, more or less strongly tuberculated, usually olive clay-coloured and adorned with greenish black marbling; (3) plastron yellowish white, typically immaculate except for a blurred-edged blotch behind each axilla that does not extend to the entoplastron and some slight black suffusion along its anterior border; (4) underside of the leathery margin of the carapace with varying amounts of dark pigmentation; (5) head olive clay-coloured with numerous black splotches; (6) chin grey brown with pale stipples, throat dark grey, finely spotted with black; (7) neck with a wide yellow lateral band stretching from the tympanum posteriorly, which tends to fade with age; (8) entoplastron boomerang-shaped, the amount of bending of the transverse bar between the two posteriolaterally directed rami >90°.

 

References

  1. Chen, H., Liu, W. & Zhang, X. (2005) Comparative analysis of mitochondrial DNA 12S rRNA region between Pelodiscus sinensis and Pelodiscus axenaria and their molecular marker for identification. Journal of Fisheries of China, 29, 318–322. [in Chinese]
    Chen, H., Liu, W., Li, J. & Zhang, X. (2006) Comparative analysis of mitochondrial DNA cytb gene and their molecular identification markers in three species of soft-turtles. Acta Hydrobiologica Sinica, 30, 380–385. [in Chinese, with English abstract]
    Clement, M., Posada, D. & Crandall, K.A. (2000) TCS: A computer program to estimate gene genealogies. Molecular Ecology, 9, 1657–1660. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-294x.2000.01020.x
    Dong, C.M., Engstrom, T.N. & Thomson, R.C. (2016) Origins of softshell turtles in Hawaii with implications for conservation. Conservation Genetics, 17, 207–220. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10592-015-0772-7
    Farkas, B., Ziegler, T., Pham, C.T., Ong, A.V. & Fritz, U. (2019) A new species of Pelodiscus from northeastern Indochina (Testudines, Trionychidae). ZooKeys, 824, 71–86. https://doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.824.31376
    Fritz, U., Gong, S., Auer, M., Kuchling, G., Schneeweiss, N. & Hundsdörfer, A.K. (2010) The world’s economically most important chelonians represent a diverse species complex (Testudines: Trionychidae: Pelodiscus). Organisms, Diversity & Evolution, 10, 227–242. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13127-010-0007-1
    Fritz, U. & Havaš, P. (2007) Checklist of chelonians of the world. Vertebrate Zoology, 57, 149–368.
    Gong, S., Vamberger, M., Auer, M., Praschag, P. & Fritz, U. (2018) Millenium-old farm breeding of Chinese softshell turtles (Pelodiscus spp.) results in massive erosion of biodiversity. The Science of Nature, 105, 34. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00114-018-1558-9
    Gong, Y., Peng, L., Huang, S., Lin, Y., Huang, R., Xu, Y., Yang, D. & Nie, L. (2021) A new species of the genus Pelodiscus Fitzinger, 1835 (Testudines: Trionychidae) from Huangshan, Anhui, China. Zootaxa, 5060 (1), 137–145. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.5060.1.7
    ICZN [International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature] (1999) International Code of Zoological Nomenclature. 4th Edition. International Trust for Zoological Nomenclature, London, XXIX + 306 pp.
    Iverson, J.B. (2022) A review of chelonian type specimens (order Testudines). Megataxa, 7, 1–85. https://doi.org/10.11646/megataxa.7.1.1
    Iverson, J.B., Le, M. & Ingram, C. (2013) Molecular phylogenetics of the mud and musk turtle family Kinosternidae. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 69, 929–939. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2013.06.011
    Kindler, C., Branch, W.R., Hofmeyr, M.D., Maran, J., Široký, P., Vences, M., Harvey, J., Hauswaldt, J.S., Schleicher, A., Stuckas, H. & Fritz, U. (2012) Molecular phylogeny of African hinge-back tortoises (Kinixys): Implications for phylogeography and taxonomy (Testudines: Testudinidae). Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research, 50, 192–201. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0469.2012.00660.x
    Praschag, P., Hundsdörfer, A.K., Reza, A.H.M.A. & Fritz, U. (2007) Genetic evidence for wild-living Aspideretes nigricans and a molecular phylogeny of South Asian softshell turtles (Reptilia: Trionychidae: Aspideretes, Nilssonia). Zoologica Scripta, 36, 301–310. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1463-6409.2007.00282.x
    Rhodin, A.G.J., van Dijk, P.P. & Parham, J.F. (2008) Turtles of the world: Annotated checklist of taxonomy and synonymy. Chelonian Research Monographs, 5, 1–38. https://doi.org/10.3854/crm.5.000.checklist.v1.2008
    Ronquist, F., Teslenko, M., van der Mark, P., Ayres, D.L., Darling, A., Höhna, S., Larget, B., Liu, L., Suchard, M.A. & Huelsenbeck, J.P. (2012) MrBayes 3.2: Efficient Bayesian phylogenetic inference and model choice across a large model space. Systematic Biology, 61, 539–542. https://doi.org/10.1093/sysbio/sys029
    Sabaj, M.H. (2022) Codes for Natural History Collections in Ichthyology and Herpetology (Online Supplement). Version 9.0. 14 February 2022. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Washington, D. C. Electronically accessible. Available from: https://asih.org (accessed 25 February 2022)
    Stuckas, H. & Fritz, U. (2011) Identity of Pelodiscus sinensis revealed by DNA sequences of an approximately 180-year-old type specimen and a taxonomic reappraisal of Pelodiscus species (Testudines: Trionychidae). Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research, 49, 335–339. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0469.2011.00632.x
    Tamura, K., Stecher, G. & Kumar, S. (2021) MEGA11: Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis Version 11. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 38, 3022–3027. https://doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msab120
    Tang, Y. (1997) Research on a new species of Pelodiscus, Trionychidae in China. Zoological Research, Kunming, 18, 13–17. [in Chinese, with English abstract]
    TTWG [Turtle Taxonomy Working Group] (2007) An annotated list of modern turtle terminal taxa with comments on areas of taxonomic instability and recent change. Chelonian Research Monographs, 4, 173–199.
    TTWG [Turtle Taxonomy Working Group] (2009) Turtles of the world: Annotated checklist of taxonomy, synonymy, 2009 update, with conservation status summary. Chelonian Research Monographs, 5, 39–83. https://doi.org/10.3854/crm.5.000.checklist.v2.2009
    TTWG [Turtle Taxonomy Working Group] (2010) Turtles of the world, 2010 update: Annotated checklist of taxonomy, synonymy, distribution, and conservation status. Chelonian Research Monographs, 5, 85–164. https://doi.org/10.3854/crm.5.000.checklist.v3.2010
    TTWG [Turtle Taxonomy Working Group] (2011) Turtles of the world, 2011 update: Annotated checklist of taxonomy, synonymy, distribution, and conservation status. Chelonian Research Monographs, 5, 165–242. https://doi.org/10.3854/crm.5.000.checklist.v4.2011
    TTWG [Turtle Taxonomy Working Group] (2012) Turtles of the world, 2012 update: Annotated checklist of taxonomy, synonymy, distribution, and conservation status. Chelonian Research Monographs, 5, 243–328. https://doi.org/10.3854/crm.5.000.checklist.v5.2012
    TTWG [Turtle Taxonomy Working Group] (2014) Turtles of the world: Annotated checklist of taxonomy, synonymy, distribution with maps, and conservation status (7th Edition). Chelonian Research Monographs, 5, 329–479. https://doi.org/10.3854/crm.5.000.checklist.v7.2014
    TTWG [Turtle Taxonomy Working Group] (2017) Turtles of the world. Annotated checklist and atlas of taxonomy, synonymy, distribution, and conservation status (8th edition). Chelonian Research Monographs, 7, 1–292. https://doi.org/10.3854/crm.7.checklist.atlas.v8.2017
    TTWG [Turtle Taxonomy Working Group] (2021) Turtles of the world. Annotated checklist and atlas of taxonomy, synonymy, distribution, and conservation status (9th edition). Chelonian Research Monographs, 8, 1–472. https://doi.org/10.3854/crm.8.checklist.atlas.v9.2021
    Webb, R.G. (1962) North American recent soft-shelled turtles (family Trionychidae). University of Kansas Publications Museum of Natural History, 13, 429–611.
    Yang, P., Tang, Y., Ding, L., Guo, X. & Wang, Y. (2011) Validity of Pelodiscus parviformis (Testudines: Trionychidae) inferred from molecular and morphological analyses. Asian Herpetological Research, 2, 21–29. https://doi.org/10.3724/SP.J.1245.2011.00021
    Zhou, G., Zhang, X. & Fang, Z. (1991) Bulletin of a new species Trionyx. Acta Scientiarum Naturalium Universitatis Normalis Hunanensis, 14, 379–382. [in Chinese, with English abstract]
    Zhou, T. & Li, P. (2013) Chinese Tortoise and Turtle Classification Primary Colour Encyclopedia [English title: Taxonomy of Chinese Chelonians]. China Agriculture Press, Beijing, 286 pp. [in Chinese, with additional English title and brief introduction]

  2.