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© Rune Midtgaard

Taxonomy of the family Chelidae
Bibliography of the genus Chelus
Biodiversity of the family Chelidae




Frynseskildpadder, Matamataer

1806 Chelus Dumeril (type species: Testudo fimbriata Schneider 1783)
1811 Chelys Oppel [unjustified emendation of Chelus Dumeril 1806] (syn. Bour & Ohler 2008)
1820 Matamata Merrem [substitute name for Chelys Oppel 1811] (syn. Bour & Ohler 2008)

Contents: 2 species, none of which are endemic.
Endemism: 0% 100%
Remarks: The grammatical gender of Chelus is feminine, so the correct form of the specific epithet is fimbriata, not fimbriatus (Cadena, Jaramillo & Paramo 2008; Costa & Bérnils 2015).
Distribution: Bolivia, Brazil (Acre, Amapa, Amazonas, Goias, Maranhao, Mato Grosso, Para [incl. Marajo Island], Rondonia, Roraima, Tocantins), Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Surinam, Trinidad & Tobago (Trinidad), Venezuela.

Chelus fimbriata

Southern Matamata

Südliche Fransenschildkröte

Sydlig Frynseskildpadde, Sydlig Matamata

1765 Testudo terrestris Fermin [nomen rejectum (ICZN 1963: Opinion 660)] (Fritz & Havas 2006)
1783 Testudo fimbriata Schneider
Chelus fimbriata Duméril 1806
Matamata fimbriata Merrem 1820
1792 Testudo matamata Bruguičre (Fritz & Havas 2006)
Emydes matamata Brongniart 1805
Chelus matamata Oppel 1811
Chelys matamata Gray in Griffith 1831
1801 Testudo bi-spinosa Daudin (Fritz & Havas 2006)
Chelys bispinosa Schweigger 1812
Matamata bispinosa Merrem 1820
1890 Chelys boulengeri Baur (Fritz & Havas 2006)

Remarks: Previously included the population now assigned to orinocensis. Pritchard (2008) questioned the presence of this species in Surinam, but most recent works include the species for the country (e.g., Rhodin, Iverson, Bour, Fritz, Georges, Shaffer & Dijk 2017).
Introduced to: Taiwan.
Distribution: Bolivia, Brazil (Acre, Amapa, Amazonas, Goias, Maranhao, Mato Grosso, Para [incl. Marajo Island], Rondonia, Tocantins), Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Peru, Surinam.

Chelus orinocensis

Orinoco Matamata



2020 Chelus orinocensis Vargas-Ramírez, Caballero, Morales-Betancourt, Lasso, Amaya, Martínez, Silva Viana, Vogt, Pires Farias, Hrbek, Campbell & Fritz

Remarks: Previously regarded as the northern population of fimbriata.
Distribution: Brazil (Amazonas, Roraima), Colombia, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago (Trinidad), Venezuela.

Chelus orinocensis
© Rune Midtgaard