Turtles of the Tiputini Biodiversity Station with remarks on the diversity and distribution of the Testudines from Ecuador

Las Tortugas de la Estación de Biodiversidad Tiputini con notas sobre la distribución de alginos Testudines de Ecuador

Ten species of Testudines, from four different families: Chelidae, Kinosternidae, Podocnemididae, and Testudinidae, are reported from the Tiputini Biodiversity Station (Universidad San Francisco de Quito), northeastern Amazonian Ecuador; including the second report from Ecuador of Batrachemys heliostemma. These ten species are sympatric but not completely syntopic, thus I comment on their diversity and habitat preferences patterns. The general distribution of some turtles from Amazonian Ecuador is discussed, providing additional records and distribution maps for Chelus fimbriatus, Platemys platycephala, Batrachemys heliostemma, Batrachemys raniceps, Mesoclemmys gibba, Phrynops geoffroanus, Kinosternon scorpioides, and Geochelone denticulata. The presence of Peltocephalus dumerilianus in Amazonian Ecuador is confirmed; based on re-examination of specimens previously reported by Dr. Gustavo Orcés in 1949. The total Ecuadorian richness of Testudines species includes 31 living taxa, and I provide an annotated list of the turtles and tortoises of mainland and insular Ecuador. Much information is still needed in order to understand the ecological relationships of the Testudines from Ecuador and future research should focus on long-term studies designed to answer several questions about their biology and ecology. Several threats are currently jeopardizing the long-term conservation of turtle populations in Ecuador, and we must increase our knowledge on these amazing animals in order to protect and preserve them.

Reptilia; Testudines; Chelidae; Kinosternidae; Podocnemididae; Testudinidae; Chelus fimbriatus; Platemys platycephala; Batrachemys heliostemma; Batrachemys raniceps; Mesoclemmys gibba; Phrynops geoffroanus; Kinosternon scorpioides; Geochelone denticulata; Podocnemis expansa; Podocnemis unifilis; Peltocephalus dumerilianus; diversity; habitat preferences; distribution; checklist; Amazonia; Ecuador

Instituto Virtual da Biodiversidade | BIOTA - FAPESP Departamento de Biologia Vegetal - Instituto de Biologia, UNICAMP CP 6109, 13083-970 - Campinas/SP, Tel.: (+55 19) 3521-6166, Fax: (+55 19) 3521-6168 - Campinas - SP - Brazil
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