Cyclanorbis elegans (Gray, 1869)

Nubian flapshell turtle



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Baikiea elegans Gray, 1869; Cyclanorbis oligotylus Siebenrock, 1902


Conservation Status

Last record (wild): c.2000

Last record (captivity): 2009?

Rediscovered in 2018/19?

IUCN status: Critically Endangered



Central and West Africa


Biology & Ecology










Baker, P.J., Diagne, T., and Luiselli, L. (2015). Cyclanorbis elegans (Gray 1869) – Nubian Flapshell Turtle. In: Rhodin, A.G.J., Pritchard, P.C.H., van Dijk, P.P., Saumure, R.A., Buhlmann, K.A., Iverson, J.B., and Mittermeier, R.A. (Eds.). Conservation Biology of Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises: A Compilation Project of the IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group. Chelonian Research Monographs 5(8):089.1-7.

Baker, P.J., Luiselli, L. & Diagne, T. (2016). Cyclanorbis elegans. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T6004A3086539. Downloaded on 19 April 2018.

Chirio, L. and Ineich, I. 2006. Biogeography of the reptiles of the Central African Republic. African Journal of Herpetology 55(1): 23-59.

Chirio, L. and LeBreton, M. 2007. Atlas des reptiles du Cameroun. IRD Editions, Paris.

Demaya, Gift Simon et al. (2019a). Rediscovery of the Nubian Flapshell Turtle (Cyclanorbis elegans) in South Sudan. Chelonian Conservation and Biology, 18(1): 62-67.

Demaya, Gift Simon et al. (In Press, 2019b). Local Ecological Knowledge in South Sudan Can Help Conservation and Management of Cyclanorbis elegans. Chelonian Conservation and Biology. doi: [Abstract]

Demaya, Gift Simon et al. (2023). Human density impacts Nubian Flapshell turtle survival in Sub-Saharan Africa: Future conservation strategies. Journal of Arid Environments 217: 105027.

Gramentz, D. 2008. African Flapshell Turtles – The Genera Cyclanorbis and Cycloderma. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt am Main.

Fritz, U. and Havas, P. (2007). Checklist of chelonians of the world. Vertebrate Zoology 57(2): 149-368.

Iverson, J.B. 1992. A Revised Checklist with Distribution Maps of the Turtles of the World. Privately published, Richmond, Indiana.

Joger, U. 1990. The herpetofauna of the Central African Republic, with description of a new species of Rhinotyphlops (Serpentes: Typhlopidae). In: G. Peters and R. Hutterer (eds), Vertebrates in the Tropics, pp. 85-102. Museum Alexandrer Koenig, Bonn.

Luiselli, Luca. (2009). A model assessing the conservation threats to freshwater turtles of Sub-Saharan Africa predicts urgent need for continental conservation planning. Biodiversity and Conservation 18:1349–1360.

Luiselli, Luca et al. (2021a). Prioritizing the next decade of freshwater turtle and tortoise conservation in West Africa. Journal for Nature Conservation 60: 125977. [Abstract]

Luiselli, Luca et al. (2021b). An additional threat to the recently rediscovered Nubian flapshell turtle in South Sudan. Oryx 55(4): 490. [Abstract]

Luiselli, Luca et al. (2022). Nubian flapshell turtle found in northern Uganda. Oryx 56(1): 10.

Segniagbeto, G.H., Bour, R., Ohler, A., Dubois, A., Rödel, M.-O., Trape, J.-F., Fretey, J., Petrozzi, F. and Luiselli, L. 2014. Turtles and tortoises of Togo: historical data, distribution, ecology, and conservation. Chelonian Conservation and Biology 13: 152-165.

Trape, J.-F., Trape, S. and Chirio, L. 2012. Lézards, crocodiles et tortues d'Afrique occidentale et du Sahara. IRD Editions, Marseille.


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