Heads up: Some or all of the identifications affected by this split may have been replaced with identifications of Pseudemys. This happens when we can't automatically assign an identification to one of the output taxa. Review identifications of Pseudemys concinna 39830

Taxonomic Split 107566 (Committed on 03-22-2022)

Pseudemys concinna floridana elevated to species status

Added by loarie on March 22, 2022 09:32 PM | Committed by loarie on March 22, 2022
split into


Last authorative taxonomic work appears to have floridana as a subspecies of concinna. What is the legitimate basis for the elevation of floridana to species level? In North Carolina, there is a zone of intergradation between the two forms strongly suggesting they are the same species.

Posted by alvinbraswell about 2 years ago

the regional SSAR list still has it as a ssp but the two global turtle lists Reptile Database and the (2021) checklist of the Turtle Taxonomy Working Group (TTWG) are now identical and they both have it as a species

Posted by loarie about 2 years ago

Seidel and Ernst, 2017, Vertebrate Zoology 67(1):1-122 gives a synopsis of the situation with P. concinna and floridana. TTWG equivocates with"or Pseudemys concinna floridana". Powell, et al., 2016 is the Peterson Field Guide and the maps for the two turtles are in error (show a non-existent gap between the two in NC). iNaturalist can go either way, but the issue of identity for P. concinna and P. floridana is not resolved at this time. In NC, they strongly appear to be the same species.

Posted by alvinbraswell about 2 years ago

I don't feel strongly specifically but generally I think unless there's strong consensus to deviate iNat should stay synced with the global lists (Reptile Database and TTWG) - looping in some top IDers for their input @uetz, @lerad, @graytreefrog, @groverbrown, @peywey, @lerad, @wild-about-texas

Posted by loarie about 2 years ago

I don’t know enough to weigh in.

Posted by graytreefrog about 2 years ago

Peter Scott did his postdoc in the Shafer lab at UCLA investigating the phylogenomics of this group. There should be a publication emerging sometime soon (not sure when...) that should clarify these matters further.

The Georgia Herp book (Jensen et al 2008) lists the two as separate species, with peninsularis as a subspecies of Pseudemys floridana. This is how I learned the group (which doesn't mean it is the right way). I will say that P. concinna and P. floridana are diagnosable in Georgia. Gene flow/hybridization at a suture zone doesn't necessarily mean that the two aren't distinct species, but alas, that depends on with species concept you adhere too. There are many documented instances of hybridization in turtles (interspecific and intergeneric).

Posted by groverbrown about 2 years ago

It is not surprising that these turtles do different things in different parts of their range. Hopefully, the newer genetic techniques will help shed some light. Range wide sampling will be necessary to provide a clearer picture. NE NC has the added complexity of P. rubriventris overlapping with the range of P. concinna (sensu lato). Lots of work for taxonomists to do!

Posted by alvinbraswell about 2 years ago

Since I primarily deal with Pseudemys in Texas, I am largely unaffected by this change. That being said, I know the genus, as a whole, is a perpetual source of debate. I'll have to look into that publication when it comes along. However, I will weigh in on the "intergrade zone" topic by saying that we have a similar situation here Texas in which P. concinna and P. texana do appear to hybridize.

Posted by peywey about 2 years ago

As Scott said, the Reptile Database follows the TTWG checklist in order to avoid discrepancies. You can see from the database that various sources flipped back and forth between species and subspecies, so there is no consistent agreement on this: https://reptile-database.reptarium.cz/species?genus=Pseudemys&species=floridana

Posted by uetz about 2 years ago

I am not sure what this discussion is suggesting I should do

Posted by jamesberlanti about 2 years ago

@jamesberlanti this discussion is reaffirming that iNat's decision to follow Reptile Database in treating Pseudemys floridana as distinct from Pseudemys concinna. So when IDing observations, your IDs should be conditioned on this taxonomy. If you don't feel comfortable distinguishing the species, add IDs at the genus level (Pseudemys)

Posted by loarie about 2 years ago

what do you reco I do and how do I do it?

Posted by jamesberlanti about 2 years ago

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