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Rhinoclemmys rubida

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA REPTILIA TESTUDINES GEOEMYDIDAE

Scientific Name: Rhinoclemmys rubida
Species Authority: (Cope, 1870)
Common Name(s):
English Mexican Spotted Terrapin, Mexican Spotted Wood Turtle
Synonym(s):
Chelopus rubidus Cope, 1870
Geoemyda rubida subspecies perixantha Mosimann & Rabb, 1953
Rhinoclemmys mexicana Gray, 1870
Taxonomic Notes: Two subspecies are recognised: R. r. rubida (Cope, 1869), and R. r. perixantha (Mosimann & Rabb, 1953), defined on head pattern, marginal flare and geographic separation. These taxa may be elevated to species level in the future.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2007
Date Assessed: 2007-03-01
Assessor(s): van Dijk, P.P., Canseco-Marquez, L. & Muñoz, A.
Reviewer(s): Carr, J.L., Iverson, J.B., Rhodin, A.G.J. & Vogt, R.C. (Tortoise & Freshwater Turtle Red List Authority)
Justification:
Very limited status data is available, and suggests long-term natural decline probably accelerated by human impacts. Limited data do not allow quantification of decline to meet criteria A or C for Vulnerable.
History:
1996 Vulnerable
1994 Insufficiently Known (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Insufficiently Known (IUCN 1990)
1988 Insufficiently Known (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
1986 Insufficiently Known (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Mexico, on Pacific versant: R. rubida rubida in Oaxaca and Chiapas, R. rubida perixantha in Jalisco, Colima, Michoacan, and Balsas de Morelos, Mexico (Iverson 1992). Possibly extends into western Pacific Guatemala. Occurs from sea level to 1,350 m (Peterson et al. 2004).
Countries:
Native:
Mexico
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Smith and Smith (1979) refer to 'apparent rarity of individuals'. Seen occasionally, including two in one week in Oaxaca and one in Chiapas during August 2005. The species is universally considered as occasionally to rarely encountered.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: R. rubida inhabits tropical semi-deciduous lowland areas, where they have been recorded from rocky hillsides, near streams in lowland scrub forest, from coastal woodlands, from thorn scrub; and from the ecotone between dry forest and pine-oak forest (Mosimann and Rabb 1953, Peterson et al. 2004). Also in moist mid-elevation habitat. Seen once near pastures, but tolerance to disturbance not completely understood.

Presumably feeds mainly on fruits and vegetation shoots, with opportunistic consumption of animal matter (Carr CBFT Manuscript).

Apparently active mainly or only during the June-November wet season (Iverson in Groombridge 1982).

Maximum size up to 23.0 cm CL in males, 17.9 cm in females (Ernst in Smith and Smith 1979).

No reproductive data are available.
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Smith and Smith (1979) speculated that the currently widely discontinuous distribution indicates progressive reduction of the species' range through natural processes. No specific threats seem to have been documented, though habitat loss from agriculture and infrastructure development and direct exploitation for pets and possibly food, and increased predation by subsidised predators may be factors. Human consumption of the species has not been recorded.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Turtles in general are protected from exploitation under Mexican wildlife and natural resource legislation; implementation is uneven and in places better enforcement may be needed.

R. rubida perixantha is confirmed to occur in the Chamela Cuixmala Biosphere Reserve (Jalisco; 131 sq. km, core 82 sq. km, cat Ia/VI) and the La Sepultura Biosphere Reserve.

R. r. rubida may occur in Huatulco NP (Oaxaca, MX, 119 sq. km, cat.II), La Sepultura BR (1673 sq. km., cat.VI) and Playa de Escobilla.

Very few animals are kept and bred in captivity, although a facility in Oaxaca is believed to be highly successful breeding the species (Iverson in litt. 28 Jan 2007).

Occurrence and population status needs to be documented better, and monitoring of selected populations would be highly desirable. Data on exploitation, habitat loss and other threats, as well as basic natural history information, are needed.

Citation: van Dijk, P.P., Canseco-Marquez, L. & Muñoz, A. 2007. Rhinoclemmys rubida. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 21 December 2014.
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