Chelodina reimanni

Philippen and Grossmann, 1990
Reimann's snake-necked turtle

The keelless, oval, olive to chestnut brown, rugose carapace (to 21 cm, but possibly to 35 cm; Artner, 1996) is broadest behind the center, somewhat flattened dorsally, with unserrated posterior marginals. The vertebrals are broader than long; the 1st is the largest, the 4th the smallest. Neural bones are absent. The plastron is large, almost covering the entire carapacial opening, and contains a posterior notch. The forelobe is broader than the hindlobe. The plastral formula is intergul > an > abd > fem > pect > hum > gul; the intergular scute is at least twice as long as the interpectoral seam. The plastron, bridge and undersides of the marginals are tan to cream or yellow with dark seams; some grayish pigment may be present along the midseam of the plastron. The head is broad for a Chelodina, and the neck is rather short. The snout is slightly upturned and protruding, the upper jaw is not notched. Dorsal surface of the neck has small, round tubercles. The skin is grayish brown dorsally and more yellowish ventrally.
Females (to 20.6 cm) are larger than males (to 15.5 cm); males have longer, thicker tails than females.

Chelodina reimanni is found in the Merauke River watershed of southeastern West Irian to southwestern Papua New Guinea. Recently, Artner (1995a) also found it more westward, near Bade, and more northward, near Muting, Irian Jaya.

Geographic Variation
Specimens from the Merauke region and further westward have the typical broad head of this species. To the east, towards the border with Papua New Guinea, Artner (pers. comm.) observed Reimann's snake-necked turtles with narrower heads. Close to the border, this species very much resembles Chelodina novaeguineae, to which Artner believes it may be very closely related.

Chelodina reimanni inhabits shallow pools in marshy areas (Chelodina reimanni biotope) with water temperatures exceeding 30°C over a considerable period. In the dry period, from mid August to mid October, it may aestivate in the mud (Artner, 1995a).

Natural History
According to Artner (1996), C. reimanni breeds easily in captivity when warm, clean water, enough protein-rich food, and a place to nest are provided. Courtship behavior has been reported by Grossmann (1992) and Artner (1995a). Two or 3 clutches of 6-16 hard-shelled, grayish white, oval (31-34 x 20-24 mm) eggs are laid each year (Grossmann, 1992; Artner, 1996). Incubation in captivity (at 28°C) takes 65 to 80 days; hatchlings are 27.6 to 32.1 (30.46 ± 1.35) mm and have dark-spotted red plastra (Artner, 1995a).
This turtle does not eat fish, but does prey on mollusks, crayfish and insects (Philippen and Grossmann, 1990). In captivity, exceptionally also vegetarian matter is taken (Artner, 1995a).

IUCN Red List Status (1996)
Data deficient.