Pelusios castaneus seychellensis Siebenrock, 1906:38

Seychelles black terrapin, Seychelles mud turtle, Seychelles terrapin



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Pelusios seychellensis Siebenrock, 1906:38; Pelusios subniger seychellensis Siebenrock, 1906:38; Sternothaerus nigricans seychellensis Siebenrock, 1906:38


This subpecies is now known to be synonymous with Pelusios (castaneus) castaneus (Stuckas et al., 2013). 


Conservation Status

Invalid (synonym)

Last record: 1895-1896 (Stuckas et al., 2013)

IUCN RedList status: Extinct



Seychelles (Mahé Island?)


Biology & Ecology




Three specimens are known, all collected in 1895 (Gerlach, 2003).



Above: dorsal (left) and ventral aspect (right) of the lectotype of Pelusios seychellensis. Young female, Natural History Museum Vienna, Austria (NHMW 13247). The arrow indicates the hole drilled in the shell margin (see text).



Original scientific description:

Siebenrock, F. (1906). Schildkroten von Ostafrika und Madagaskar. In: Voeltzkow, A. Reise in Ost-Afrika in den Jahren 1903-1905 mit Mitteln der Hermann und Elise geb. Heckmann-Wentzel-Stiftung. Wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse. Systematischen Arbeiten. Stuttgart 2: 1-40.


Other references:

Bour, Roger. (1983). Trois populations endémiques du genre Pelusios (Reptilia, Chelonii, Pelomedusidae) aux îles Seychelles; relations avec les espèces africaines et malgaches. Bulletin du Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris (4)5A: 343-382.

Bour, Roger. (2013). Actualités chez les tortues des Seychelles. Chéloniens 29: 27-41.

Bour, R. and Gerlach J. (2008). Pelusios seychellensis (Siebenrock 1906)-Seychelles mud turtle. In: Rhodin, A. G. J., Pritchard, P. C. H, van Dijk, P. P., Saumure, R. A., Buhlmann, K. A., and Iverson, J. B. (Eds.). Conservation Biology of Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises: A Compilation Project of the IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group. Chelonian Research Monographs No. 5, pp. 018.1-018.3.

Gerlach, Justin. (2002). Seychelles Terrapin Action Plan. Phelsuma 10B: 1-16.

Gerlach, Justin. (2003). Pelusios seychellensis. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. ( Downloaded on 28 July 2012.

Gerlach, Justin. (2012). Red Listing reveals the true state of biodiversity: a comprehensive assessment of Seychelles biodiversity. Phelsuma 20: 9-22.

Gerlach, Justin and Canning, K. L. (1996). The rediscovery of Pelusios seychellensis. Phelsuma 4: 68-69.

Gerlach, Justin and Canning, L. (2001). Range contractions in the Critically Endangered Seychelles terrapins (Pelusios spp.). Oryx 35(4): 313-321.

Stuckas, H., Gemel, R., Fritz, U. (2013). One Extinct Turtle Species Less: Pelusios seychellensis Is Not Extinct, It Never Existed. PLoS ONE 8(4): e57116.

Turtle Extinctions Working Group et al. (2015). Turtles and Tortoises of the World During the Rise and Global Spread of Humanity: First Checklist and Review of Extinct Pleistocene and Holocene Chelonians. Chelonian Research Monographs No. 5: 1-66.


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