Molecular Biology and Genetics
Statistics of barcoding coverage
|Specimen Records:||244||Public Records:||226|
|Specimens with Sequences:||353||Public Species:||58|
|Specimens with Barcodes:||244||Public BINs:||57|
|Species With Barcodes:||58|
The Geoemydidae (formerly known as Bataguridae) are the largest and most diverse family in the order Testudines (turtles), with about 70 species. The family includes the Eurasian pond and river turtles and Neotropical wood turtles.
Characteristics[edit source | edit]
Geoemydidae are turtles of various sizes (from about 10 to 80 cm in length) with often a high degree of sexual dimorphism. They usually have webbed toes, and their pelvic girdles articulate with their plastrons flexibly. Their necks are drawn back vertically. Their carapaces have 24 marginal scutes. The plastron is composed of 12 scutes and has no mesoplastron, the pectoral and abdominal scutes contact the marginal scutes.
Ecology[edit source | edit]
Geoemydidae live in tropics and subtropics of Asia, Europe and North Africa, the only genus in Central and South America is Rhinoclemmys. Their habitats include freshwater ecosystems, coastal marine areas, and tropical forests. Most are herbivorous, but some are omnivorous or carnivorous species. In mating, the males are usually much more active than females. A relatively small number of eggs per clutch is common, produced several times a year. Some species have a temperature-dependent sex determination system, while others possess different sex chromosomes.
About 70% of the extant species have been reported to be in endangered or vulnerable condition.
Systematics and evolution[edit source | edit]
Traditional systematics placed the geoemydids in the family Emydidae as the subfamily Batagurinae. In the 1980s, the subfamily was elevated to the family status and renamed to Geoemydidae according to the ICZN rules.
The intrafamilial taxonomy is not well established yet, due to the large number and diversity of species. The family is usually divided into two subfamilies and 22 to 27 genera. Several species are known to give viable hybrids, which makes the systematics even more complicated.
Subfamilies and genera[edit source | edit]
|This article's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. (April 2011)|
The following genera are classified under Geoemydidae.
- Subfamily Batagurinae
- Subfamily Geoemydinae
- Genus Chinemys, pond turtle (three species) (sometimes included in Mauremys)
- Genus Cuora, Asian box turtle (10 species) (including Cistoclemmys)
- Genus Cyclemys (seven species)
- Genus Geoemyda (two species)
- Genus Heosemys (formerly in Geoemyda)
- Genus Hieremys (formerly in Geoemyda, often included in Heosemys)
- Genus Leucocephalon (formerly in Geoemyda and Heosemys)
- Genus Malayemys (two species)
- Genus Mauremys, pond turtles (including Annamemys, Cathaiemys and Emmenia)
- Genus Melanochelys (two species)
- Genus Notochelys (monotypic genus)
- Genus Ocadia (sometimes included in Mauremys)
- Genus Orlitia (monotypic genus)
- Genus Pyxidea, keeled box turtle (often included in Cuora)
- Genus Rhinoclemmys, Neotropical wood turtles
- Genus Sacalia, "eyed" turtles
- Genus Siebenrockiella (two species, one subgenus Panyaenemys, formerly under Heosemys)
- Genus Vijayachelys, cane turtle (formerly in Geoemyda and Heosemys)
Conservation[edit source | edit]
As of the early 2013, six species of the family Geoemydidae are on the CITES Appendix I, and 30 more are on the treaty's Appendix II. A joint China-US proposal for a March 2013 CITES participants' conference seeks to add 15 more Geoemydidae species to the convention's Appendix II. 
References[edit source | edit]
- Buskirk et al. (2005)
- Turtle taxonomy Working Group (2010)
- CONVENTION ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE IN ENDANGERED SPECIES OF WILD FAUNA AND FLORA: Sixteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties, Bangkok (Thailand), 3-14 March 2013. CONSIDERATION OF PROPOSALS FOR AMENDMENT OF APPENDICES I AND II (CoP16 Prop. 32)
- Dinny McMahon, China Backs Tortoise in Race to Protect Endangered Species, 2013-03-04
- Buskirk, James R.; Parham, James F. & Feldman, Chris R. (2005): On the hybridisation between two distantly related Asian turtles (Testudines: Sacalia × Mauremys). Salamandra 41: 21-26. PDF fulltext
- Rhodin, A.G.J., van Dijk, P.P, Iverson, J.B., and Shaffer, H.B. (Turtle taxonomy Working Group).2010. "Turtles of the world, 2010 update: annotated checklist of taxonomy, synonymy, distribution, 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 No. 5: 000.85-000.164, doi:10.3854/crm.5.000.checklist.v3.2010. Retrieved 25 March 2011.