Wattle-necked softshell turtle

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Wattle-necked softshell turtle
Palea steindachneri.jpeg
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Suborder: Cryptodira
Family: Trionychidae
Subfamily: Trionychinae
Genus: Palea
Meylan, 1987 [2]
P. steindachneri
Binomial name
Palea steindachneri
(Siebenrock, 1906) [2]
Synonyms [3]

The wattle-necked softshell turtle (Palea steindachneri ), also commonly known as Steindachner's soft-shelled turtle, [4] is an endangered Asian species of softshell turtle and the only member of the genus Palea. [2] The shell of females of this freshwater turtle reaches up to 44.5 cm (17.5 in) in length, while it reaches up to 36 cm (14 in) in males, which however have a longer tail than the females. [5]

Endangered species Species of organisms facing a very high risk of extinction

An endangered species is a species which has been categorized as very likely to become extinct in the near future. Endangered (EN), as categorized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, is the second most severe conservation status for wild populations in the IUCN's schema after Critically Endangered (CR).

In biology, a species is the basic unit of classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individuals of the appropriate sexes or mating types can produce fertile offspring, typically by sexual reproduction. Other ways of defining species include their karyotype, DNA sequence, morphology, behaviour or ecological niche. In addition, paleontologists use the concept of the chronospecies since fossil reproduction cannot be examined. While these definitions may seem adequate, when looked at more closely they represent problematic species concepts. For example, the boundaries between closely related species become unclear with hybridisation, in a species complex of hundreds of similar microspecies, and in a ring species. Also, among organisms that reproduce only asexually, the concept of a reproductive species breaks down, and each clone is potentially a microspecies.

A genus is a taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, as well as viruses, in biology. In the hierarchy of biological classification, genus comes above species and below family. In binomial nomenclature, the genus name forms the first part of the binomial species name for each species within the genus.



The specific name, steindachneri, is in honor of Austrian herpetologist Franz Steindachner. [4]

In zoological nomenclature, the specific name is the second part within the scientific name of a species. The first part of the name of a species is the name of the genus or the generic name. The rules and regulations governing the giving of a new species name are explained in the article species description.

Herpetology Study of amphibians and reptiles

Herpetology is the branch of zoology concerned with the study of amphibians and reptiles. Birds, which are cladistically included within Reptilia, are traditionally excluded here; the scientific study of birds is the subject of ornithology.

Franz Steindachner Austrian zoologist

Franz Steindachner was an Austrian zoologist, ichthyologist, and herpetologist. He published over 200 papers on fishes and over 50 papers on reptiles and amphibians Steindachner described hundreds of new species of fish and dozens of new amphibians and reptiles. At least seven species of reptile have been named after him.


P. steindachneri is native to southeastern China (Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Yunnan), Laos, and Vietnam, but has also been introduced to Hawaii and Mauritius. [2]

China Country in East Asia

China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering approximately 9,600,000 square kilometers (3,700,000 sq mi), it is the third- or fourth-largest country by total area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau.

Guangdong Most populous province of the Peoples Republic of China

Guangdong is a province in South China, on the South China Sea coast. Its capital and largest city is Guangzhou. Guangdong surpassed Henan and Shandong to become the most populous province in China in January 2005, registering 79.1 million permanent residents and 31 million migrants who lived in the province for at least six months of the year; the total population was 104,303,132 in the 2010 census, accounting for 7.79 percent of Mainland China's population. This makes it the most populous first-level administrative subdivision of any country outside of South Asia, as its population is surpassed only by those of the Pakistani province of Punjab and the Indian states of Bihar, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh.

Guangxi Autonomous region

Guangxi ( ; alternately romanized as Kwanghsi; Chinese: 广西; Zhuang: Gvangjsih, officially the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China, located in south China and bordering Vietnam and the Gulf of Tonkin. Formerly a province, Guangxi became an autonomous region in 1958. Its current capital is Nanning.


P. steindachneri is endangered by poaching for human consumption. [1] Although pressure on the wild population continues, several thousand are hatched and raised each year on turtle farms in China and Vietnam for food and traditional medicine. [6] [7]

Poaching illegal taking of wild plants or animals

Poaching has been defined as the illegal hunting or capturing of wild animals, usually associated with land use rights.

Turtle farming

Turtle farming is the practice of raising turtles and tortoises of various species commercially. Raised animals are sold for use as gourmet food, traditional medicine ingredients, or as pets. Some farms also sell young animals to other farms, either as breeding stock, or more commonly to be raised there to a larger size for subsequent resale.

Vietnam Country in Southeast Asia

Vietnam, officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula. With an estimated 94.6 million inhabitants as of 2016, it is the 15th most populous country in the world. Vietnam shares its land borders with China to the north, and Laos and Cambodia to the west. It shares its maritime borders with Thailand through the Gulf of Thailand, and the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia through the South China Sea. Its capital city is Hanoi, while its most populous city is Ho Chi Minh City.

Related Research Articles

Trionychidae family of reptiles

The Trionychidae are a taxonomic family of a number of turtle genera. Softshells include some of the world's largest freshwater turtles, though many can adapt to living in highly brackish areas. Members of this family occur in Africa, Asia, and North America. Most species have traditionally been included in the genus Trionyx, but the vast majority have since been moved to other genera. Among these are the North American Apalone softshells that were placed in Trionyx until 1987.

Indian narrow-headed softshell turtle species of reptile

Indian narrow-headed softshell turtle also known as small-headed softshell turtle is an endangered species of softshell turtle found in rivers of South Asia. It is very large and feeds on fish, frogs, crustaceans and molluscs, which it ambushes. In the past it was included in Chitra chitra; a species restricted to Southeast Asia using current taxonomy.

Cantors giant softshell turtle species of reptile

Cantor's giant softshell turtle, also known commonly as the Asian giant softsell turtle and the frog-faced softshell turtle, is a species of freshwater turtle in the family Trionychidae. The species is native to Southeast Asia. It has been considered to be among the largest extant freshwater turtles. The species is endangered and in the 20th century has disappeared from much of its former range.

Keeled box turtle species of reptile

The keeled box turtle is a species of turtle in the family Geoemydidae.

Golden coin turtle species of reptile

The golden coin turtle or Chinese three-striped box turtle is a species of turtle endemic to southern China and northern Vietnam.

Chinese softshell turtle species of reptile

The Chinese softshell turtle is a species of softshell turtle that is endemic to China, with records of escapees—some of which have established introduced populations—in a wide range of other Asian countries, as well as Spain, Brazil and Hawaii.

<i>Apalone</i> genus of reptiles

Apalone is a genus of turtles in the family Trionychidae. Species of Apalone are native to North America.

Florida softshell turtle Species of reptile

The Florida softshell turtle is a species of softshell turtle native to the Southeastern United States.

Yangtze giant softshell turtle species of reptile

The Yangtze giant softshell turtle, also known as the Red River giant softshell turtle, the Shanghai softshell turtle, the speckled softshell turtle, and Swinhoe's softshell turtle, is an extremely rare species of turtle in the family Trionychidae. The species is endemic to eastern and southern China and northern Vietnam. Only three living individuals are known, one in China (captive) and two in Vietnam (wild), following the deaths of a wild individual in Vietnam in January 2016 and a captive individual in China in 2019, and it is listed as critically endangered in the IUCN Red List. It may be the largest living freshwater turtle in the world. The female of the last breeding pair died at Suzhou Zoo in China in April 2019, making the species functionally extinct unless a wild female is found.

Four-eyed turtle species of reptile

The four-eyed turtle is a reptile of the order Testudines. Its name refers to two bright yellow or green spots that occur on the back of its head that can look like another pair of eyes.

Cuatro Cienegas softshell subspecies of reptile

The Cuatro Ciénegas softshell, also called the black spiny softshell, is a subspecies of softshell turtle in the family Trionychidae. The subspecies was formerly classified in the genus Trionyx.

Burmese peacock softshell species of reptile

The Burmese peacock softshell turtle is a species of softshell turtle in the Trionychidae family. It is one of five species in the genus Nilssonia.

<i>Rafetus</i> genus of reptiles

Rafetus is a genus of highly endangered softshell turtles in the family Trionychidae. It is a genus of large turtles which are found in freshwater habitats in Asia.

Burmese roofed turtle species of reptile

The Burmese roofed turtle is one of six species of turtle in the genus Batagur of the family Geoemydidae. It is endemic to Myanmar, but was believed to be extinct until rediscovered in 2002. It remains very rare in the wild, but a conservation project has been successful and several hundred are now kept in the Yadanabon Zoological Gardens in Mandalay and a turtle conservation center in Lawkananda Park, Bagan.

Smooth softshell turtle species of reptile

The smooth softshell turtle is a species of softshell turtle of the family Trionychidae. The species is endemic to North America.

Euphrates softshell turtle species of reptile

The Euphrates softshell turtle, also known as the Mesopotamian softshell turtle, is a species of softshell turtle in the family Trionychidae. It is found throughout much of the Euphrates–Tigris river basin in Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Khūzestān Province of Iran. Historically it has also been reported from Israel, but this likely involves confusion with the very similar Trionyx triunguis.

Chelodina steindachneri, commonly known as the dinner-plate turtle or Steindachner's turtle, is a species of turtle in the family Chelidae. The species is the least known of the Australian turtles and also one of the smallest members of the long-necked turtles of the genus Chelodina. It is a member of the subgenus Chelodina making it closely related to the Chelodina longicollis group of species.

Pelodiscus maackii, commonly known as the Amur softshell turtle or the northern Chinese softshell turtle, is a species of turtle in the family Trionychidae. The species is found in the Russian Far East, northeastern China, Korea, and Japan. It is possible that the Japanese populations are the result of ancient introductions by humans. This aquatic species may attain a straight carapace length of 32.5 cm (1.1 ft).

The lesser Chinese softshell turtle is a species of turtle in the family Trionychidae. It is endemic to China, largely in the Guangxi and Hunan provinces, but with isolated populations in Zhejiang and Hainan Island. Populations of this species in Vietnam, as well as certain populations in Hainan, are now considered to belong to a separate species, the spotted softshell turtle. There is some controversy within researchers over whether or not P. parviformis is a valid species, but a study in 2015 reaffirmed it as such.


  1. 1 2 "The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 2018-10-28.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Rhodin, Anders G.J.; van Dijk, Peter Paul; Inverson, John B.; Shaffer, H. Bradley; Roger, Bour (2011-12-31). "Turtles of the world, 2011 update: Annotated checklist of taxonomy, synonymy, distribution and conservation status". Chelonian Research Monographs. 5. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-01-22.
  3. Fritz, Uwe; Havaš, Peter (2007). "Checklist of Chelonians of the World". Vertebrate Zoology. 57 (2). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-12-17.
  4. 1 2 Beolens B, Watkins M, Grayson M (2011) The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN   978-1-4214-0135-5. (Palea steindachneri, p. 252).
  5. Ernst,C.H.; and J.E. Lovich (2009). Turtles of the United States and Canada (2 ed.). p. 636. ISBN   978-0-8018-9121-2.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  6. Dharmananda, Subhuti, Endangered species issues affecting turtles and tortoises in Chinese medicine, Institute for Traditional Medicine, Portland, Oregon
  7. "Raising trionychid turtles in Yen Bai", Vietnam in photos, 2013-02-17

Further reading

Friedrich Siebenrock Austrian herpetologist

Friedrich Siebenrock was an Austrian herpetologist.