Revision of the Southeast Asian Leaf Turtle Genus emCyclemys/em Bell, 1834, with Description of a New Species

Edgar Lehr, Uwe Fritz, Maren Gaulke

Research output: Journal ArticleArticlepeer-review


Within the genus Cyclemys, four species are recognised and diagnosed, based upon more than 200 specimens. One is described as a new species. For the other three species, the nomenclatural history is discussed and several lecto- or neotypes are designated. In addition, a key for all species is presented. Cyclemys dentata (GRAY, 1831) sensu stricto is characterised by a reddish, intensely striped head and neck pattern and a predominant or entirely yellow plastron with a short interfemora1 and a long interanal seam. It is distributed from Thailand over the Malay peninsula to Sumatra and Java. Its range includes Borneo and some islands of the Palawan and Sulu regions of the Philippines, too. The soft parts of Cyclemys oldhamii GRAY, 1863 are mainly dark coloured, without distinct head and neck stripes. The plastron is principally dark and the interfemoral seam is longer and the interanal seam shorter compared with C. dentata. C. oldhamii is in a vast area sympatric with C. dentata. C. oldhamii occurs from NE India over Burma, Thailand, and the Malay peninsula to Borneo, Sumatra, and Java. The population on Java could represent a distinct subspecies because several adults exhibit a clearly paler plastron colouration than specimens from other parts of the range. Cyclemys pulchristriata sp. nov. is a very striking coloured taxon with a conspicuous head and neck pattern consisting of yellow, but not reddish stripes. It is further distinguished from the superficially similar C. dentata by its uniform light coloured throat and the much broader light stripes on the ventral side of the neck. Up to now, C. pulchristriata is only known from Annam (Vietnam). Cyclemys tcheponensis (BOURRET, 1939) closely resembles in many characters C. oldhamii. However, C. tcheponensis differs from this taxon by its striped head and neck pattern. The plastral pattern of hatchlings is different from the three other taxa. C. tcheponensis is known to occur in Chiang Mai (Thailand), Tonkin (Vietnam), and from the border region between Laos and Vietnam.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 1997


  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

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