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  Scott Thomson,


Historical Papers

Gray, J. E., 1841. A catalogue of the species of reptiles and amphibia hitherto described as inhabiting Australia, with a description of some new species from Western Australia. Appendix E in Grey, G. 1841:422-449.

Comment: The following is an extract from a large catalogue prepared by John Edward Gray. The species described include Hydraspis australis (Emydura australis; holotype BMNH 1947.3.4.36) and Chelodina oblonga (holotype BMNH 1947.3.5.89 CL = 172.39mm). Chelodina longicollis (holotype BMNH 1947.3.5.86 CL = 133.36) is listed. Jan Matiaska (2004)


84. Hydraspis australis, t. 6. - Body ovate, back dark olive, rather convex, rounded on the middle of the sides, with a narrow reflexed edge, shelving behind with a broad expanded margin; vertebral shield broad, six-sided, last subtriangular; beneath rather convex, yellow, shelving on the sides; the second marginal plate with an angular lobe produced into the suture between the vertebral and first costal plates; claws sharp, black; skin of head and limbs smooth.
Inhab. Western Australia ?
The back covered with conferva

Drawing I


Drawing II

85. Chelodina longicollis. - Mr. Gould brought two large specimens of this species, which are much more ovate and convex than Dr. Shaw's specimens. They are 7 inches long, by 6 wide. It may be a particular variety, or they may become more ovate as they increase in size. The sternal shields (in specimens preserved in brine) are pale yellow, with black edges.

86. Chelodina oblonga, t. 7. - Shell oblong, rather contracted in front, with a broad impression on the middle of the back; back olive brown, with irregular anastomosing lines of the shields; beneath reddish-yellow. The marginal plates longer than broad, the second larger than the first and third; and rather angularly produced in the middle of the inner edge, opposite the suture between the first dorsal and first costal plate; the sternum high, flat, strongly and sharply keeled on the sides.
Inhab. Western Australia

Drawing III


Drawing IV

The species is at once known from Chelodina longicollis by the form of its high, flat sternum, which is strongly keeled on the sides, and by this part being of a uniform reddish colour, without any dark margin to the plates; the hinder part of the sternum is only slightly concavely truncated, and not deeply notched.

It is also known from that old well-known species by its oblong depressed form, and by the form of the marginal plates, and especially from the second and eleventh marginal plates on each side being placed more forwards, so that the centre of their inner edge is opposite the suture of the first and last costal plates with the dorsal ones; instead of their front margin, as is the case with all the specimens of Chelodina longicollis I have seen.

This species grows to a large size. Mr. Gould brought a specimen which he gave to Mr. Bell, which is 11 inches long, and the neck is nearly equally long, very thick, and studded with large warts; the head is broad and depressed, covered with a thin skin, like a Trionix, and marked with small thin scales.