Phrynops hilarii
Phrynops hilarii 2.jpg
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Suborder: Pleurodira
Family: Chelidae
Genus: Phrynops
P. hilarii
Binomial name
Phrynops hilarii
  • Platemys hilarii
    A.M.C. Duméril & Bibron, 1835
  • Hydraspis hilairii [sic]
    Gray, 1844 (ex errore)
  • Hydraspis hilarii
    — Gray, 1856
  • Spatulemys lasalae
    Gray, 1872
  • Hydraspis hilari [sic]
    Koslowsky, 1898 (ex errore)
  • Hydraspis geoffroyanus hilarii
    Siebenrock, 1905
  • Phrynops hilarii
    Stejneger, 1909
  • Phrynops geoffroana hilarii
    L. Müller, 1939
  • Phrynops geoffroanus hilarii
    — Wermuth & Mertens, 1961
  • Hydraspis hilairi [sic]
    Pritchard, 1967 (ex errore)
  • Phrynops hilari
    — Goode, 1967

Phrynops hilarii, commonly known as Hilaire’s toadhead turtle or Hilaire’s side-necked turtle, is a species of freshwater turtle in the family Chelidae. The species is endemic to South America.


The specific name, hilarii, is in honor of French zoologist Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire.[4]

Geographic range

P. hilarii is found in southern Brazil (Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul), southward and westward into Uruguay and Argentina, and possibly also in Paraguay and Bolivia.[5]


These turtles inhabit streams, lakes and swamps with abundant aquatic vegetation and soft bottoms.[6]


Phrynops hilarii swimming in captivity.
Phrynops hilarii
Phrynops hilarii

Phrynops hilarii has an oval, flattened carapace, with a maximum length of approximately 40 cm, weighing approximately 5 kg. The carapace is usually dark brown, olive, or gray, with a yellow border. The head is large and flat, gray to olive above, with a pointed snout and two bicolored chin barbels There is a black band on each side of the head, which comes out of the muzzle and passes over the eyes, going up to the neck. [7][6]


This omnivorous species mainly feed on arthropods, with a preference for copepods, ostracods, and hemipterans. [8] They feed also on fish, birds, reptiles, small mammals and dead animals. It is oviparous. [5] These turtles can live for up to 37 years. [9]

Females lay twice a year, one between February and May and the other between September and December. They lay from 9 to 14 eggs, with a maximum of 32 eggs and an incubation period of approximately 150 days.


  1. ^ Duméril, André Marie Constant; Bibron, Gabriel (1835). Erpétologie Générale ou Histoire Naturelle Complète des Reptiles. Tome Second. Paris: Roret. 680 pp. (Platemys hilarii, new species, pp. 428-430). (in French).
  2. ^ Fritz, Uwe; Havaš, Peter (2007). "Checklist of Chelonians of the World" (PDF). Vertebrate Zoology. 57 (2): 341. ISSN 1864-5755. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-05-01. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
  3. ^ van Dijk, Peter Paul; Iverson, John B.; Shaffer, H. Bradley; Bour, Roger; Rhodin; Anders G.J. (2012). Turtles of the World, 2012 Update: Annotated Checklist of Taxonomy, Synonymy, Distribution, and Conservation Status. Chelonian Research Monographs No. 5, pp. 000.243–000.328.
  4. ^ Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Phrynops hilarii, p. 123).
  5. ^ a b The Reptile Database
  6. ^ a b Turtles of the World
  7. ^ Mario R. Cabrera, Sonia E. Colantonio Ontogenetic variation of plastral spotting pattern in Phrynops hilarii (Testudines, Chelidae)
  8. ^ Leandro Alcalde, Natacha Nara Derocco, and Sergio Daniel Rosset Feeding in Syntopy: Diet of Hydromedusa tectifera and Phrynops hilarii (Chelidae)
  9. ^ The animal ageing and longevity database

Further reading