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Confusion of Panamanian Trachemys specie

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Posted by: vidusa at Tue Apr 8 10:42:56 2008  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by vidusa ]  
   

I am confused about the Trachemys subspecies in southern panama and Rio Atrato (colombia). According to Barbour's "Turtles of the World", the subspecies present should be Trachemys scripta ornata (ornate slider). However, looking at the range, the ornate slider is chiefly of western mexico, and then the range is cut off by T.s.venusta, T.s.grayi, and T.s.emolli (Meso-american, gray's, and Nicaraguan sliders). I tried to make a map of the ranges (see picture) according to the discription given by Barbour.

Does anyone think that it is valid that the southern panama and Rio Atrato sliders be classified at T.s. ornata? In Colombia, I've seen them refer to the Rio Atrato population as ornata or venusta. However, the nicaraguan slider (emolli) cuts off the population of both these subspecies becuase it includes the Rio San Juan. Has anyone heard if the panamanian-Rio Atrato population is being considered as a new subspecies?

See reference from Barbour:

The ornate slider T. s. ornata (Gray, 1831b), to 38 cm, occurs on the Pacific coastal plain of Mexico from northern Sinaloa to central Oaxaca and from Guatemala through Central America to Colombia (Rio Atrato). The orange postorbital stripe usually starts at the orbit, is expanded over the temple, and continues to the neck; the carapace has dark-centered ocelli on the pleurals; the plastral pattern consists of four concentric, faded medial lines which do not extend to the anal notch.

Gray's slider T. s. grayi (Bocourt, 1868), to 60 cm, occurs from the Pacific coastal plain of Tehuantepec, Mexico, southeastward to La Libertad, El Salvador. The yellow supratemporal stripe reaches the eye; all head stripes are narrow; the carapace has dark-centered ocelli on the pleurals and marginals; and the plastral figure is diffused, fragmented, and faded in adults.

T. s. emolli (Legler, 1990), the Nicaraguan slider, to 37.2 cm, is found in the watersheds of Lakes Nicaragua and Managua, and in the Rio San Juan in Nicaragua and extreme northern Costa Rica. It has a broad, often bicolored, postorbital stripe which is constricted at the level of the tympanum. A large dark blotch is present on each pleural and marginal scute, and the vertebral keels are also dark. The adult plastron pattern consists only of dark seams. It is closely related to T. s. venusta.


The Colombian slider T. s. callirostris (Gray, 1856), to 25 cm, lives in the Caribbean drainages of Colombia and Venezuela. It is easily recognized by the large number of ocelli on the underside of the snout and on the upper and lower jaws; its broad, reddish, parallel-sided supratemporal stripe well-separated from the orbit; the pattern of ocelli on its carapace; and the extensive pattern of dark lines which cover most of its plastron. The Venezuelan slider



   

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