Cyclemys n.sp.

Iverson and McCord, 1997 or Fritz, Gaulke, and Lehr, 1997
Southern stripe-necked leaf turtle

The elongate carapace (to 22.4 cm) is nearly flat in adults and contains three keels, a medial and two low lateral ones, that are better developed in younger individuals. Vertebrals 1-5 are broader than long; the first vertebral is usually broader than long, but does not extend to the seam separating marginals 1-2 on each side. The posterior rim of the carapace is serrated, and all scutes may be rugose with growth annuli. The carapace is light olive to brown or nearly black, with coarse dark rays extending from the areolae of each scute. The adult plastron is narrower than the carapace with a broad forelobe, a relatively long hindlobe, and a posterior notch. The average plastral formula is pect > abd >< an > gul >< fem >< hum. The plastron is cream to yellowish-brown or horn-colored without or with only a few dark rays. The bridge is patterned with dark flecks and streaks. The snout is slightly projected, and the upper jaw is only weakly hooked and has a shallow medium notch. Head morphology is essentially like that of C. dentata. The head is greenish-brown and mottled dorsally with dark flecks. A light cream to brownish (not reddish) temporal and postorbital stripe extending backward onto the neck is present on each side, as is a narrower light stripe extending backward from the angle of the jaw to at least the ventral rim of the tympanum. These stripes may darken with age, but are still noticeable in old adults. The chin is cream or yellow (lightly flushed with salmon in juveniles) with a few or no black marks (that of the other two species is striped or uniformly dark). The light stripes on the ventral part of the neck are much broader than in C. dentata. The legs are gray-brown to brown anteriorly, cream posteriorly.
Females are larger (to 22.4 cm) than males (to 19.1 cm), but males have longer, thicker tails than females with the vent situated beneath the posterior margin of the carapace.

This species occurs in the isolated hill area of extreme southeastern Thailand and adjacent southwestern Cambodia, in association with the Cardamon Mountain range, and on the islands of Ko Chang and Ko Kut in the Gulf of Thailand (Iverson and McCord, 1997b). Fritz et al. (1997) report it from Annam (Vietnam), but state it may as well occur in central and southern Vietnam, Yunnan Province, China, and Thailand. However, John B. Iverson (pers. comm.) has told us its range does not include Yunnan; this misconception originated with pet trade dealers who hoped to increase sales of the animal by promoting interest in a newly found Chinese population, and shows why locality data originating with such persons may be highly suspect.

Habitat and Natural History

This new species was separately described and named Cyclemys atripons by Iverson and McCord (1997b) and Cyclemys pulchristriata by Fritz et al. (1997). Since the publication dates of the two papers have not been determined, which name has priority remains to be resolved.

IUCN Red List Status (1996)
Not included.