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Overview

Brief Summary

Summary

Known from only a handful of localities in the Sierra Madre Occidental of western Mexico, the Spotted Box Turtle, Terrapene nelsoni (Family Emydidae), remains one of the least known chelonian species of North America. Only at the type locality and at one site in Chihuahua have more than four specimens been recorded, most other records consisting of incidental finds or acquisition of solitary specimens. Population density, natural history, and reproductive parameters are thus not understood, and even the favored microhabitat of the species is uncertain. Often the habitat is of difficult access, precipitous, and the turtles themselves seem to have a short activity season, coinciding with the summer monsoon. Most literature on the species is limited to physical description of specimens, on the basis of which two subspecies have been recognized. Based on comparisons of 32 morphological features, the most recent phylogenetic analysis of genus Terrapene has confirmed the close relationship of T. nelsoni to T. ornata, to which it is parapatric in the northern portion of its range. No threats to the species are currently known, and it is classified as Data Deficient on the IUCN Red List. Monitoring for the possibility of an international pet trade developing would be advisable.
  • Buskirk, J.R. and Ponce-Campos, P. 2011. Terrapene nelsoni Stejneger 1925 – Spotted Box Turtle, Tortuga de Chispitas, Tortuga de Monte. 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, pp. 060.1–060.9, doi:10.3854/crm.5.060.nelsoni.v1.2011, http://www.iucn-tftsg.org/cbftt
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© IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group

Source: IUCN SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group

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Distribution

Mexico. Records exist from five Mexican states: Chihuahua, Jalisco, Nayarit, Sinaloa, and Sonora, with those from the latter outnumbering all the others combined. All localities are restricted to the Pacific versant of the Sierra Madre Occidental in montane regions from approximately 450 m to at least 1640 m. It is the only Terrapene species found to the west of the Cordillera. More than 200 km separate the southernmost record for the species (near Guachinango, Jalisco) from the type locality (Pedro Pablo, Nayarit), which in turn lies more than 600 km southeast of the nearest confirmed locality to the north (near Terreros, Sinaloa) suggesting that the species is either more widespread than documented, or that its range is fragmented.
  • Buskirk, J.R. and Ponce-Campos, P. 2011. Terrapene nelsoni Stejneger 1925 – Spotted Box Turtle, Tortuga de Chispitas, Tortuga de Monte. 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, pp. 060.1–060.9, doi:10.3854/crm.5.060.nelsoni.v1.2011, http://www.iucn-tftsg.org/cbftt
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© IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group

Source: IUCN SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group

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Continent: Middle-America
Distribution: W Mexico (S Sonora, Sinaloa, Nayarit)  klauberi: Sinaloa, Sonora, Chihuahua [HR 32; 274]  nelsoni: Mexico (Nayarit, Sinaloa);
Type locality: "Pedro Pablo, Tepic [Nayarit], Mexico".
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© Peter Uetz

Source: The Reptile Database

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Physical Description

Type Information

Holotype for Terrapene nelsoni
Catalog Number: USNM 46252
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Sex/Stage: Male;
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1897
Locality: Pedro Pablo, Nayarit, Mexico
Elevation (m): 762 to 762
  • Holotype: Stejneger, L. 1925. J. Wash. Acad. Sci. 15 (20): 463.
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© Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles

Source: National Museum of Natural History Collections

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
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Source: IUCN

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Life History and Behavior

Life Expectancy

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 24.9 years (captivity)
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© Joao Pedro de Magalhaes

Source: AnAge

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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
DD
Data Deficient

Red List Criteria

Version
2.3

Year Assessed
1996
  • Needs updating

Assessor/s
Tortoise & Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group

Reviewer/s

Contributor/s

History
  • 1994
    Insufficiently Known
    (Groombridge 1994)
  • 1990
    Insufficiently Known
    (IUCN 1990)
  • 1988
    Insufficiently Known
    (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
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Source: IUCN

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Status

IUCN 2011 Red List: Data Deficient (DD, assessed 1996, needs updating); CITES: Appendix II, as Terrapene spp.; Mexico: Pr (2.2.4., Subject to Special Protection).
  • Buskirk, J.R. and Ponce-Campos, P. 2011. Terrapene nelsoni Stejneger 1925 – Spotted Box Turtle, Tortuga de Chispitas, Tortuga de Monte. 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, pp. 060.1–060.9, doi:10.3854/crm.5.060.nelsoni.v1.2011, http://www.iucn-tftsg.org/cbftt
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© IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group

Source: IUCN SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group

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Wikipedia

Spotted box turtle

The Spotted box turtle (Terrapene nelsoni) is a species of turtle in the Emydidae family. It is endemic to Sierra Madre Occidental in Mexico.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fritz Uwe; Peter Havaš (2007). "Checklist of Chelonians of the World". Vertebrate Zoology 57 (2): 200. Archived from the original on 2010-12-17. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 

Source[edit]

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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Subspecies

Two subspecies are currently recognized: Terrapene nelsoni nelsoni (Southern Spotted Box Turtle) (distribution: Nayarit, Jalisco, and southern Sinaloa, Mexico) and Terrapene nelsoni klauberi (Northern Spotted Box Turtle) (synonymy: Terrapene klauberi Bogert 1943) (distribution: Sonora, Chihuahua, and northern Sinaloa, Mexico).
  • Buskirk, J.R. and Ponce-Campos, P. 2011. Terrapene nelsoni Stejneger 1925 – Spotted Box Turtle, Tortuga de Chispitas, Tortuga de Monte. 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, pp. 060.1–060.9, doi:10.3854/crm.5.060.nelsoni.v1.2011, http://www.iucn-tftsg.org/cbftt
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© IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group

Source: IUCN SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group

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