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Alligator snapping turtle classification 


The alligator snapping turtle is a full species with no subspecies - unlike the common snapping turtles. They are members of the New World turtle family.

According to Mlynarski's classification, there are only two full groups classified as snapping turtles:

  1. common snapping turtles - Chelydra serpentina, with four recognized subspecies
  2. alligator snapping turtle - Macroclemys Temmincki, with no subspecies

The latin name 'Macroclemys' is sited in some literature as 'Macrochelys'. I am not sure yet why is that, but here in North America the name used to classify the alligator snapper is Macroclemys temmincki.

The full classification by Mlynarski (1969):

Order: Testudines
Suborder : Cryptodira

  • Superfamily: Chelydroidea
  • Families:
      ( 1 )Chelydridae
    • Chelydra serpentina serpentina - the Common Snapping Turtle (Linneaeus 1758)
    • Chelydra serpentina osceola - the Florida Snapping Turtle (Stejneger 1818)
    • Chelydra serpentina rossignoni - the Mexican Snapping Turtle (Bocourt 1868)
    • Chelydra serpentina acutirostris - the South-American
      (Equadorian) Snapping Turtle
      (Peters 1862)
      ( 2 )Macroclemys
    • Macroclemys temmincki - the Alligator Snapping Turtle (Troost 1835)


More reading & related links:
 
        Basic snapping turtle info in one file - Introduction to snapping turtles.pdf (116 Kb)  

 


          
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