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© Rune Midtgaard

Taxonomy of the family Geoemydidae
Bibliography of the genus Malayemys
Biodiversity of the family Geoemydidae


Southeast Asian Snail-eating Turtles

Schnecken-Sumpfschildkröten, Malayen-Sumpfschildkröten, Malaiischer Schneckenfresser


1869 Damonia Gray [not Damonia Robineau-Desvoidy 1847 (Diptera)] (type species: Geoclemys macrocephala Gray 1859; syn. Fritz & Havas 2006)
1931 Malayemys Lindholm [substitute name for Damonia Gray 1869]

Contents: 3 species, none of which are endemic.
Endemism: 0% 100%
Remarks: Until recently consisting of a single species, subtrijuga (e.g., Wermuth & Mertens 1977), including the synonym macrocephala. Brophy (2004) revalidated macrocephala as a separate species. Subsequently, two more species have been described (khoratensis, isan), however, it turned out that they were wre based on the same species and therefore united under the oldest of the two names (khoratensis).
Reports from Guangdong (China), Borneo and Sumatra are considered erroneous or based on introductions. The population in Java is considered introduced herein, but could be a relict, natural population.
Distribution: Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia (West Malaysia), Thailand, Vietnam.

Malayemys khoratensis

Khorat Snail-eating Turtle, Isan Snail-eating Turtle



2016 Malayemys khoratensis Ihlow, Vamberger, Morris, Hartmann, Cota, Makchai, Meewattana, Dawson, Long, Rödder & Fritz
2016 Malayemys isan Sumontha, Brophy, Kunya, Wiboonatthapol & Pauwels (Rhodin, Iverson, Bour, Fritz, Georges, Shaffer & Dijk 2017)

Distribution: Laos, Thailand.

Malayemys macrocephala

Malayan Snail-eating Turtle, Siamese Snail-eating Turtle

Malaiische Schnecken-Sumpfschildkröte

Malayisk Snegleskildpadde

1859 Geoclemys macrocephala Gray
Clemmys macrocephala Strauch 1862
Emys macrocephala Günther 1864
Damonia macrocephala Gray 1869
Malayemys macrocephala Brophy 2004

Remarks: Previously regarded as a synonym of subtrijuga (e.g., Wermuth & Mertens 1977). Revalidated by Brophy (2004). Listed for Myanmar by some authors (e.g., Win & Win 2002; Zug, Leviton, Vindum, Wogan & Koo 2010), but presence in the country needs confirmation (see Dawson, Ihlow, Ettmar, Dijk & Thirakhupt 2018).
Introduced to: Indonesia (Sumatra).
Distribution: Malaysia (West Malaysia), Thailand.

Malayemys macrocephala
© Henrik Bringsøe

Malayemys subtrijuga

Mekong Snail-eating Turtle, Three-ridged Terrapin, Rice-field Terrapin, Rice-field Turtle



1844 Emys subtrijuga Schlegel & Müller
Damonia subtrijuga Boulenger 1889
Geoclemys subtrijuga Siebenrock 1909
Malayemys subtrijuga Lindholm 1931
1863 Emys nuchalis Blyth (Fritz & Havas 2006)
Bellia nuchalis Gray 1870
1870 Damonia crassiceps Gray (Fritz & Havas 2006)
1871 Damonia oblonga Gray (Fritz & Havas 2006)

Remarks: Presence of wild populations in Guangdong (China) is doubtful, since the only documented specimens were found in a farmers' market (Farkas & Sasvári 1992). Although reported from Sumatra (e.g., Iverson 1992; Teynié, David & Ohler 2010), presence of subtrijuga in the island was regarded as doubtful by Fritz & Gaulke (1997). Teynié & David (2010) reported specimens of subtrijuga from Laos, which appeared to have the markings characteristic of macrocephala, so the status of these populations needs clarification.
Introduced to: Indonesia (Java), USA (New Mexico).
Distribution: Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam.