Vertebrate Zoology 65(3): 383-389, doi:
Important new records of Pelomedusa species for South Africa and Ethiopia
expand article infoUwe Fritz, Christian Kehlmaier, Tomáš Mazuch, Margaretha D. Hofmeyr, Louis du Preez, Melita Vamberger, Judit Vörös
‡ Senckenberg Natural History Collections Dresden, Dresden, Germany
Open Access
Because of a recent taxonomic revision, the species identity of helmeted terrapins (Pelomedusa) became unclear in many regions of their wide distribution range. Based on mtDNA sequence data, here we present the first record of Pelomedusa subrufa sensu stricto for the South African province of Mpumalanga. In South Africa, this species was previously known only from a single record in the province of Limpopo. In addition, we provide evidence for the occurrence of at least two distinct Pelomedusa species in Ethiopia. A sample from southern Ethiopia (Omo Region) turned out as P. neumanni, while another sample from Koka Lake (Oromia Region, central Ethiopia) represents P. somalica. Also a historical museum specimen from Ethiopia, most likely collected south of the Shebelle River (Oromia Region), belongs to P. somalica. However, these two Ethiopian specimens of P. somalica represent highly distinct genetic lineages, which may actually correspond to two different species.
Pelomedusa neumanni; Pelomedusa somalica; Pelomedusa subrufa; Pelomedusidae; Reptilia; Testudines