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Kinosternon scorpioides albogulare, 064

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Kinosternon scorpioides albogulare (Duméril and Bocourt 1870) –
White-Throated Mud Turtle, Swanka Turtle

German Forero-Medina1,2 and Olga V. Castaño-Mora2

1Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University,
Durham, North Carolina 27708 USA [[email protected]];

2Grupo de Biodiversidad y Conservación, Instituto de Ciencias Naturales,
Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá, Colombia [[email protected]]


Summary. – The White-throated Mud Turtle, Kinosternon scorpioides albogulare (Family Kinosternidae), is a poorly studied taxon that inhabits freshwater ponds, streams, and mangrove forests in Central America from Honduras to Panama and the Caribbean island of San Andrés, Colombia. Carapace length can reach approximately 150 mm, but varies geographically, with some populations averaging only 125 mm; clutch size ranges from 1–6, but usually 2–5, and egg size is approximately 31 x 15 mm. Although little is known about its ecology, reproduction, and population trends, its occurrence in several countries, the fact that its habitat is included in some protected areas, the low human consumption, and the high estimated densities at some sites, support the premise that it is not currently globally threatened. However, there is a need for population and reproductive studies throughout its range in order to determine population trends and possible conservation recommendations in some areas. Local populations might be vulnerable to specific threats that must be evaluated independently. The population on San Andrés Island, Colombia, is potentially threatened by an introduced predator.

Distribution. – Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador. From western Honduras and El Salvador to western Panama, including Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and the Colombian island of San Andrés in the Caribbean.

Synonymy. – Cinosternon albogulare Duméril and Bocourt 1870, Cinosternum albogulare, Kinosternon cruentatum albogulare, Kinosternon scorpioides albogulare.

Status. – IUCN 2011 Red List: Not Listed; CITES: Not Listed; Colombia: Red Book of Endangered Reptiles: Vulnerable (VU D2).


Forero-Medina, G. and Castaño-Mora, O.V. 2011. Kinosternon scorpioides albogulare (Duméril and Bocourt 1870) – White-Throated Mud Turtle, Swanka Turtle. In: Rhodin, A.G.J., Pritchard, P.C.H., van Dijk, P.P., Saumure, R.A., Buhlmann, K.A., Iverson, J.B., and Mittermeier, R.A. (Eds.). Conservation Biology of Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises: A Compilation Project of the IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group. Chelonian Research Monographs No. 5, pp. 064.1–064.5, doi:10.3854/crm.5.064.albogulare.v1.2011, //iucn-tftsg.org/cbftt/.

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Adult Kinosternon scorpioides albogulare in a mangrove forest, San Andrés Island, Colombia.
Photo by G. Forero-Medina.



Distribution of Kinosternon scorpioides albogulare in Central America from Honduras and El Salvador through Nicaragua and Costa Rica to western Panama. The dot in the Caribbean Sea to the east of Nicaragua is the Colombian island of San Andrés. Red dots = museum and literature occurrence records of native populations based on Iverson (1992), plus more recent and authors’ data; green shading = projected native distribution based on GIS-defined hydrologic unit compartments (HUCs) constructed around verified localities and then adding HUCs that connect known point localities in the same watershed or physiographic region, and similar habitats and elevations as verified HUCs (Buhlmann et al. 2009), and adjusted based on authors’ data.