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Sternotherus odoratus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA REPTILIA TESTUDINES KINOSTERNIDAE

Scientific Name: Sternotherus odoratus
Species Authority: (Latreille in Sonnini & Latreille, 1801)
Common Name(s):
English Eastern Musk Turtle, Common Musk Turtle
Synonym(s):
Kinosternon odoratum (Latreille in Sonnini & Latreille, 1801)
Kinosternum guttatum LeConte, 1854
Ozotheca tristycha Agasiz, 1857
Testudo glutinata Daudin, 1801
Testudo odorata Latreille in Sonnini & Latreille, 1801
Taxonomic Notes: Generally placed in Sternotherus, but on occasion in the past placed in the genus Kinosternon.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2010-08-01
Assessor(s): van Dijk, P.P.
Reviewer(s): Horne, B.D., Mittermeier, R.A., Philippen, H.-D., Quinn, H.R., Rhodin, A.G.J., Shaffer, H.B. & Vogt, R.C
Contributor(s): Flores-Villela, O.
Justification:
A very widespread, adaptable and common species, which may have some marginal populations of local conservation interests (specifically the reputed Chihuahua, Mexico, and Canadian occurrences) but is in no way threatened in its existence. It is therefore listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Eastern and Central United States (Maine to southern Wisconsin, Texas and Florida) and southeastern Canada (southeastern Ontario and adjoining extreme southern Quebec) (Iverson 1992, Ernst et al. 1994).

A single record from Rio Sauz, Sauz, Chihuahua, Mexico, considered by Smith and Smith (1979) to possibly pertain to a naturally extinct population, was considered invalid by Iverson (1992).
Countries:
Native:
Canada (Ontario, Québec); United States (Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Sternotherus odoratus is common to abundant in suitable habitat across its range, with reported densities ranging from 8-700 individuals per hectare, and 8.4 to 41.7 kg / ha biomass (review by Iverson and Meshaka 2006). The species is not considered to occur in Mexico.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Sternotherus odoratus inhabit a wide variety of flowing and standing waterbodies, including deep water (up to 9 m), but does not tolerate saline water. Sternotherus odoratus are preferentially carnivorous omnivores, with a preference for feeding on molluscs.

Males and females reach up to 14 cm carapace length (CL), though averaging 7-10 cm; maximum size and sexual dimorphism show geographic trends. Maturity is reached in 2-7 years / 50-65 mm CL (males) and 3-11 years / 62-85 mm in females, depending on location. Longevity of over 54 years has been demonstrated in captivity, while longevity in the wild has been estimated at 20-30 years. Generation time has not been calculated.

Females produce one to six clutches of about two to four (range one to nine) eggs, depending on location. Incubation usually takes 60-107 days (range 56-132), depending on location. Hatchlings measure 17-26 mm (reviews in Iverson and Meshaka 2006, Ernst and Lovich 2009).
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Modest numbers of Sternotherus odoratus occur in the pet trade.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No significant human-induced mortality sources have been reported; it was considered 'the last turtle species to be negatively affected by environmental degradation' by Buhlmann et al. (2008) and it rarely ventures far from water thus road mortality is minimal; impacts of fisheries bycatch, if any, have not been recorded.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Canada: Sternotherus odoratus has a limited distribution area in Canada and is thus a species of conservation attention.

United States: Sternotherus odoratus is subject to a variety of State legislation and regulations. The species occurs in a large number of protected and managed areas.

Mexico: Information on habitat status at the Rio Sauz would be desirable, subsequently followed by an intensive survey for this species.

Bibliography [top]

Ernst, C.H. and Lovich, J.E. 2009. Turtles of the United States and Canada. Second edition. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.

Ernst, C.H., Lovich, J.E. and Barbour, R.W. 1994. Turtles of the United States and Canada. Smithsonian, Washington, DC. 578 pp.

IUCN. 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2011.1). Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 16 June 2011).

Iverson, J.B. and Meshaka, W.E. 2006. Sternotherus odoratus - Common Musk Turtle or Stinkpot. In: P.A. Meylan (ed.), Biology and Conservation of Florida Turtles, pp. 201-223. Chelonian research Foundation, Lunenburg, MA.

Smith, H.M. and Smith, R.B. 1979. Synopsis of the Herpetofauna of Mexico (Vol. VI - Guide to Mexican Turtles ). John Johnson, North Bennington, VT. xvii + 1044 pp.


Citation: van Dijk, P.P. 2013. Sternotherus odoratus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 24 July 2014.
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