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Pelodiscus sinensis,
Chinese softshell turtle
CITES Appendix II (CITES)[2]
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Suborder: Cryptodira
Family: Trionychidae
Subfamily: Trionychinae
Genus: Pelodiscus
Fitzinger, 1835[1]

Pelodiscus is a genus of turtles in the family Trionychidae, the softshells.[1] Based on genetic and morphological analysis there are six valid species.[3] They are native to Eastern Asia, ranging from the Amur region, south through China and Korea, as far south as Vietnam.[4] Populations in Japan are thought to likely originate from historic human introductions.[3]

Phylogenetic studies have recovered a high diversity of Pelodiscus genotypes in China, some of which may correspond to distinct species. However, the millennia-old practice of farming Pelodiscus for consumption, especially in large-scale farms since the late 20th century, is thought to threaten these lineages due to hybridization with farmed individuals.[5]


Nota bene: A binomial authority in parentheses indicates that the species was originally described in a genus other than Pelodiscus.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Rhodin et al. 2010, pp. 000.127-8
  2. ^ "Appendices | CITES". Retrieved 2022-01-14.
  3. ^ a b Rhodin, Anders G.J. (2021-11-15). Turtles of the World: Annotated Checklist and Atlas of Taxonomy, Synonymy, Distribution, and Conservation Status (9th Ed.). Chelonian Research Monographs. Chelonian Research Foundation and Turtle Conservancy. ISBN 978-0-9910368-3-7.
  4. ^ a b Farkas, B.; Ziegler, T.; Pham, C.T.; Ong, A.V.; Fritz, U. (2019). "A new species of Pelodiscus from northeastern Indochina (Testudines, Trionychidae)". ZooKeys (824): 71–86. doi:10.3897/zookeys.824.31376. PMC 6382751. PMID 30799973.
  5. ^ Gong, Shiping; Vamberger, Melita; Auer, Markus; Praschag, Peter; Fritz, Uwe (2018-05-04). "Millennium-old farm breeding of Chinese softshell turtles (Pelodiscus spp.) results in massive erosion of biodiversity". The Science of Nature. 105 (5): 34. doi:10.1007/s00114-018-1558-9. ISSN 1432-1904.
  6. ^ Gong, Yan-An; Peng, Li-Fang; Huang, Song; Lin, Yan-Feng; Huang, Ru-Yi; Xu, Yu-Hao; Yang, Dian-Cheng; Nie, Liu-Wang (2021-10-28). "A new species of the Genus Pelodiscus Fitzinger, 1835 (Testudines: Trionychidae) from Huangshan, Anhui, China". Zootaxa. 5060 (1): 137–145. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.5060.1.7. ISSN 1175-5334.

Further reading