Cylindraspis peltastes Duméril & Bibron, 1835:138

Domed Rodrigues (giant) tortoise, Lesser tortoise, Rodrigues domed tortoise



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Testudo peltastes Duméril & Bibron, 1835:138; Geochelone peltastes Duméril & Bibron, 1835:138; Testudo rotunda Latreille in Sonnini and Latreille, 1801:107


Conservation Status


Last record: after 1800 (1802?)

IUCN RedList status: Extinct


A small number of individuals may have survived until 1802 or slightly after (Maas, 2010)



Rodrigues, Mascarene Islands


Biology & Ecology










Original scientific description:

Duméril, A. M. C. and G. Bibron. (1835). Erpétologie Générale ou Histoire Naturelle Complète des Reptiles, Vol. 2. Librairie Encyclopédique de Roret, Paris, iv + 680 p.


Other references:

Arnold, E. N. (1979). Indian Ocean giant tortoises: their systematics and island adaptations. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 286: 127-145.

Austin, Jeremy J. and Arnold, E. Nicholas. (2001). Ancient mitochondrial DNA and morphology elucidate an extinct island radiation of Indian Ocean giant tortoises (Cylindraspis). Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B 268: 2515-2523.

Austin, Jeremy, Arnold, E. Nicholas and Bour, Roger. (2002). The provenance of type specimens of extinct Mascarene Island giant tortoises (Cylindraspis) revealed by ancient mitochondrial DNA sequences. Journal of Herpetology 36(2): 280-285. [Abstract]

Baillie, J. and Groombridge, B. (eds). 1996. 1996 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Bour, Roger. (1985 "1984"). Les tortues terrestres géantes des îles de l’océan Indien occidental: données géographiques, taxinomiques et phylogénétiques, pp. 17-76. In: F. de Broin and E. Jiménez-Fuentes (Eds.) Comunicaciones del I Simposium Internacional sobre Quelonios Fósiles, París, Octubre, 1983. Studia Geologica Salmanticensia, Volumen Especial 1 (Studia Palaeocheloniologica I) [1984].

Bour, Roger. Fretey, T. and Cheke, Anthony S. (2014). Philibert Marragon (1749-1826) and the Mémoire sur l’Isle de Rodrigue (1795). Bibliotheca Herpetologica 10(2): 5-32.

Day, David. (1981). The Doomsday Book of Animals: A Natural History of Vanished Species. New York, N.Y.: The Viking Press.

Groombridge, B. 1992. Global Biodiversity: Status of the Earth’s Living Resources. Report compiled by the World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Chapman and Hall, London.

Groombridge, B. (ed.). 1994. 1994 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Hume, Julian Pender. (2014). Fossil discoveries in Rodrigues and Mauritius, pp. 203-228. In: Gerlach, Justin (ed.). Western Indian Ocean Tortoises: Ecology, Diversity, Evolution, Conservation, Palaeontology. Manchester: Siri Scientific Books.

Kehlmaier, Christian et al. (2019). Ancient mitogenomics clarifies radiation of extinct Mascarene giant tortoises (Cylindraspis spp.). Scientific Reports 9: 17487.

Kehlmaier, C., Graciá, E., Ali, J.R., Campbell, P.D., Chapman, S.D., Deepak, V., Ihlow, F., Jalil, N.-E., Pierre-Huyet, L., Samonds, K.E., Vences, M., Fritz, U. (2023). Ancient DNA elucidates the lost world of western Indian Ocean giant tortoises and reveals a new species from Madagascar. Science Advances 9(2): eabq2574.

Leguat , F. (1707) [“1708”]. Voyages et avantures de François Leguat, et de ses compagnons, en deux îsles désertes des Indes orientales. London: David Mortier, Vol. 1, 164 pp., Vol. 2, 180 pp.

Maas, P. H. J. (2010). Rodrigues Domed Tortoise - Cylindraspis peltastes . In: TSEW (2010). The Sixth Extinction Website. ( Downloaded on December 11, 2010.

Regalado, Pedro Galán. (2015). Los Anfibios y Reptiles Extinguidos: Herpetofauna Desaparecida Desde el Año 1500. Monografías de la Universidade da Coruña 155: 1-509.

Tirvengadum, D. D. and Bour, R. (1985). Checklist of the herpetofauna of the Mascarene Islands. Atoll. Res. Bull. 292: 49-60.

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.

World Conservation Monitoring Centre. (1996). Cylindraspis peltastes. In: IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.4. ( Downloaded on 11 December 2010.

World Conservation Monitoring Centre. 1996. Cylindraspis peltastes. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 1996: e.T6063A12388776. Accessed on 02 July 2022.


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