Title

The Subspecies of Cuora galbinifrons Bourret, 1939 (Reptilia: Testudines: Bataguridae)

Abstract

(1) C. g. galbinifrons BOURRET, 1939, distributed in North Vietnam (Tonkin) and adjacent southern China, is characterized by its flat and elongated shell and a mainly or entirely black plastron. The carapace bears a wide, anteriorly forked dark brown median band and lacks a solid dark lateral band. The soft parts are sometimes intensely reddish coloured. (2) C. g. bourreti OBST & REIMANN, 1994, occurs in Central Vietnam (Annam, except the southernmost part), and the neighbouring regions of Laos and Cambodia. It is distinguished from the nominotypical subspecies by its more domed, rounder shell, a plastral pattern consisting of black spots on a yellow primary colour, the presence of a solid, dark brown lateral band on the carapace, running through the mid of the costals, and never reddish soft parts. C. g. bourreti differs from both other subspecies by the shape of the wide, dark brown median band on the carapace, reaching the anterior shell margin in its entire width, and an often indistinct or lacking light, thin dorsomedian stripe. (3) C. g. picturata LEHR, FRITZ & OBST, 1998, from southernmost Annam (Vietnam), adjacent Cambodia and probably Cochinchina, is closely related to C. g. bourreti. It differs from this subspecies by the lower position of the wide, dark lateral band of the carapace, which includes the upper part of the posterior marginals, unpatterned light proximal marginals, and a well defined light, thin stripe along the longitudinal shell axis. C. g. picturata is distinguished from both C. g. galbinifrons and C. g. bourreti by its peculiar grey soft part pattern on a yellowish ground colour and the proximally confluent, V-shaped dark median band on the carapace. The taxon C. g. hainanensis (LI, 1958) was founded on a type specimen from a population intermediate between C. g. galbinifrons and C. g. bourreti. Because the Hainan specimens generally tend more to C. g. galbinifrons, despite a clear influence of C. g. bourreti, C. g. hainanensis is treated here as a junior synonym of the nominotypical subspecies.

Disciplines

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

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