A morphological review of subspecies of the Asian box turtle,Cuora amboinensis (Testudines, Geomydidae)

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Abstract

The turtle Cuora amboinensis has an extensive distribution covering most of southern mainland Asia, Indonesia, and extending to the Philippine Islands. Unlike many species, C. amboinensis occurs on both sides of Wallace's Line separating Asian and Australian flora and fauna. Four subspecies are currently recognized; Cuora a. kamaroma (southern continental Asia, Java and the northern Philippines "introduced"), C. a. lineata (Kachin Province, Myanmar "Burma" and adjacent Yunnan Province, China), C. a. couro (Sumatra, Java, Sumbawa, and adjacent smaller Indonesian islands); and C. a. amboinensis (Moluccas, Sulawesi, Philippines). Five pattern and 33 morphological characters were examined for variation in 691 individuals from throughout the species' range. Our analyses suggest that only two presently recognized subspecies are valid: amboinensis and kamaroma. Neither couro nor lineata are supported by our analysis. We recommend that C. a. couro should be synonymized with the species C. amboinensis and C. a. lineata with the subspecies C. a. kamaroma.

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Ernst, C. H., Laemmerzahl, A. F., & Lovich, J. E. (2016). A morphological review of subspecies of the Asian box turtle,Cuora amboinensis (Testudines, Geomydidae). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 129(1), 144–156. https://doi.org/10.2988/0006-324X-129.Q2.144

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