IUCN   ::   Species Survival Commission     ::     Chelonian Research Foundation    ::    Turtle Conservation Fund      ::      Turtle Conservancy     ::      re: wild     ::      Turtle Survival Alliance

Mauremys nigricans, 068

Download pdf

Mauremys nigricans (Gray 1834) –
Red-Necked Pond Turtle, Chinese Red-Necked Turtle,
Kwangtung River Turtle, Black-Necked Pond Turtle

Ben Anders1 and John B. Iverson2

1Biology Department, University of Texas at Arlington,
Arlington, Texas 76019 USA [[email protected]];

2Department of Biology, Earlham, Richmond, Indiana 47374 USA [[email protected]]


Summary. – Mauremys nigricans, the Red-necked Pond Turtle (Family Geoemydidae), is known from montane streams in the Pearl River drainage of southern China, and may also occur in the Jinlong Jiang River drainage of southeastern China and the Red River drainage of Vietnam. All data on the natural history of M. nigricans are either highly dated or derived from captive specimens. The taxonomic status of M. nigricans was unclear for many years and, although now resolved at the species level, morphological variation within the species has not been investigated; hence, no subspecies are recognized. Mauremys nigricans is in urgent need of additional conservation measures because of its restricted range and escalating demand for the species by collectors. Management of captive stocks for future reintroductions may be crucial, as no surviving wild populations of M. nigricans are currently known, despite multiple recent field surveys for this species.

Distribution. – China, Vietnam (?). Guangdong and Guangxi Provinces, southern China; possibly Fujian and Hainan in China and/or northeastern Vietnam.

Synonymy. – Emys nigricans Gray 1834, Clemmys nigricans, Damonia nigricans, Chinemys nigricans, Mauremys nigricans, Geoclemys kwangtungensis Pope 1934, Clemmys kwangtungensis, Chinemys kwangtungensis, Geoclemys palaeannamitica Bourret 1941, Chinemys palaeannamitica.

Subspecies. – None currently recognized.

Status. – IUCN 2012 Red List: Endangered (EN A1d+2d) (assessed 2000); TFTSG Draft Red List: Critically Endangered; CITES: Appendix III (China).


Anders, B. and Iverson, J.B. 2012. Mauremys nigricans (Gray 1834) – Red-necked Pond Turtle, Chinese Red-necked Turtle, Kwangtung River Turtle, Black-necked Pond 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. 068.1–068.9, doi:10.3854/crm.5.068.nigricans.v1.2012, //www.iucn–tftsg.org/cbftt/.


Download pdf

(Adobe Acrobat 6.0 or later required)


Adult male Mauremys nigricans in captivity.
Photo by Ben Anders.



Distribution of Mauremys nigricans in southern China and possibly northern Vietnam in eastern Asia. Red dots = museum and literature occurrence records of native populations based on Iverson (1992), plus more recent and authors’ data; brown dots = possible occurrence records representing unconfirmed localities, possibly of introduced market specimens; green shading = projected native distribution (now quite possibly largely extirpated) 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.