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Emydura macquarii facts for kids

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Emydura macquarii
Temporal range: Eocene–Recent
Pair of Emydura macquarii - Warrawong.JPG
Macquarie turtle
Emydura macquarii
Conservation status
Scientific classification
  • E. m. macquarrii (Gray, 1830)
  • E. m. krefftii (Gray, 1871)
  • E. m. nigra McCord et al., 2003
  • E. m. emmotti Cann et al., 2003

E. m. macquarii (Gray 1830)

  • Emys macquaria Cuvier 1829:11 (nomen nudum)
  • Chelys (Hydraspis) macquarii
    Gray 1830:15
  • Hydraspis macquarrii Gray 1831:40 (nomen novum)
  • Platemys macquaria A.M.C. Duméril & Bibron 1835:438 (nomen novum)
  • Hydraspis australis Gray 1841:445 (10:41) (nomen dubium)
  • Euchelymys sulcifera Gray 1871a:118
  • Emydura macquariae
    Boulenger 1889:ix (nomen novum)
  • Emydura signata Ahl 1932:127
  • Emydura canni Worrell 1970:pl.6 (nomen nudum)
  • Chelymys cooki Wells & Wellington 1985:8 (nomen nudum)
  • Chelymys johncanni Wells & Wellington 1985:8 (nomen nudum)
  • Emydura macquarii binjing
    Cann 1998:116
  • Emydura macquarii dharra
    Cann 1998:120
  • Emydura macquarii gunabarra
    Cann 1998:123
  • Emydura macquarii dharuk
    Cann 1998:126

E. m. emmotti Cann, McCord & Joseph-Ouni in Mc-Cord, Cann & Joseph-Ouni 2003

  • Chelymys windorah Wells & Wellington 1985:8 (nomen nudum)
  • Emydura macquarii emmotti Cann, McCord & Joseph-Ouni in McCord, Cann & Joseph-Ouni 2003:59

E. m. krefftii (Gray 1871)

  • Chelymys krefftii Gray 1871b:366
  • Chelymys victoriae marmorata
    Gray 1872d:506
  • Chelymys victoriae sulcata
    Gray 1872d:506

E. m. nigra McCord, Cann & Joseph-Ouni 2003

  • Tropicochelymys insularis Wells & Wellington 1985:9 (nomen nudum)
  • Emydura macquarii nigra McCord, Cann & Joseph-Ouni 2003:59

Emydura macquarii, is a wide-ranging species that occurs throughout many of the rivers of the eastern half of Australia. It is found primarily in the Macquarie River basin and all its major tributaries, along with a number of coastal rivers up the New South Wales Coast. It is also found in the coastal Queensland rivers and the Cooper Creek ecosystem, along with Fraser Island.

It is often infected with the flatworm Choanocotyle elegans.

Collection history and discovery

This species has a long and complicated nomenclatural history, including even its original description. The holotype was originally collected by René Primevère Lesson (1794–1849) and Prosper Garnot (1794–1838) in 1824. During an expedition on the La Coquille, captained by Louis Isidore Duperrey, which visited Sydney, Australia, from 17 January - 25 March 1824, they visited Bathurst, and collected the holotype from the Macquarie River.

The first description of the species was offered by Baron Georges Cuvier in 1829, but this description is nowadays seen as a nomen nudum. Hence, the description by John Edward Gray in 1831 is considered the valid description.

Sex determination

E. macquarii uses the XY sex-determination system, making it one of the few turtle species that has a genetic SDM. The X and Y chromosomes are macrochromosomes, unlike most GSD turtles including its close relative Chelodina longicollis, which has microchromosomes. It is also hypothesized that this turtle's sex chromosomes were formed from the translocation of an ancestral Y microchromosome onto an autosome. It can often be difficult to determine the gender of a turtle when they are young, but it will get more apparent when they grow.


The generic name, Emydura, is derived from the Greek emys (freshwater turtle) and the Greek oura (tail), Latinized to ura. Its grammatical gender is feminine. The specific epithet, macquarii, refers to the turtle's type locality: the Macquarie River. It would seem that the species was not named after Governor Lachlan Macquarie for whom the river is named.

The subspecific name, emmotti, is in honor of Australian farmer and naturalist Angus Emmott (born 1962).

The subspecific name, krefftii, is in honor of German-born Australian naturalist Gerard Krefft.

Common names

Common names for E. macquarii include Murray River turtle, Macquarie River turtle, eastern short-necked turtle and southern river turtle.

Conservation status

Emydura macquarii is listed as 'vulnerable' in the state of South Australia under relevant state legislation.


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