Wattle-necked softshell turtle

The wattle-necked softshell turtle (Palea steindachneri), also commonly known as Steindachner's soft-shelled turtle,[6] is an endangered Asian species of softshell turtle in the family Trionychidae. The species is the only member of the genus Palea.[3]

Wattle-necked softshell turtle
Palea steindachneri.jpeg
CITES Appendix II (CITES)[2]
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Suborder: Cryptodira
Family: Trionychidae
Subfamily: Trionychinae
Genus: Palea
Meylan, 1987 [3]
P. steindachneri
Binomial name
Palea steindachneri
  • Aspidonectes californiana
    Rivers, 1889
    (nomen suppressum)
  • Pelodiscus californianus
    Baur, 1893
  • Aspidonectes californiensis [sic]
    O.P. Hay, 1904
    (ex errore)
  • Trionyx steindachneri
    Siebenrock, 1906
    (nomen conservandum)
  • Amyda steindachneri
    K.P. Schmidt, 1927
  • Palea steindachneri
    — Meylan, 1987
  • Trionix steindachneri
    Richard, 1999
  • Pelodiscus steindachneri
    Pritchard, 2001
  • Palea steindachneri
    Ziegler, 2002


P. steindachneri exhibits sexual dimorphism. Females of this freshwater turtle reach up to 44.5 cm (17.5 in) in straight carapace length, while males only reach up to 36 cm (14 in). However, males have a longer tail than the females.[7]


The specific name, steindachneri, is in honor of Austrian herpetologist Franz Steindachner.[6]

Geographic rangeEdit

P. steindachneri is native to southeastern China (Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Yunnan), Laos, and Vietnam, but has also been introduced to Hawaii and Mauritius.[3]


P. steindachneri is endangered by poaching for human consumption. Although pressure on the wild population continues, several thousand are hatched and raised each year on turtle farms in China and Vietnam for food and traditional medicine.[8][9]


  1. ^ Fong, J.; Hoang, H.; Li, P.; McCormack, T.; Rao, D.-Q.; Timmins, R.J.; Wang, L. (2021). "Palea steindachneri". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2021: e.T15918A794203. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2021-1.RLTS.T15918A794203.en. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  2. ^ "Appendices | CITES". cites.org. Retrieved 2022-01-14.
  3. ^ a b c d Rhodin, Anders G.J.; van Dijk, Peter Paul; Iverson, John B.; Shaffer, H. Bradley; Bour, Roger (2011-12-31). "Turtles of the world, 2011 update: Annotated checklist of taxonomy, synonymy, distribution and conservation status" (PDF). Chelonian Research Monographs. 5. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2012-01-31.
  4. ^ Fritz, Uwe; Havaš, Peter (2007). "Checklist of Chelonians of the World" (PDF). Vertebrate Zoology. 57 (2). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-05-01.
  5. ^ Species Palea steindachneri at The Reptile Database www.reptile-database.org.
  6. ^ a b 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. (Palea steindachneri, p. 252).
  7. ^ Ernst CH, Lovich JE (2009). Turtles of the United States and Canada (2 ed.). p. 636. ISBN 978-0-8018-9121-2.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  8. ^ Dharmananda, Subhuti, Endangered species issues affecting turtles and tortoises in Chinese medicine, Institute for Traditional Medicine, Portland, Oregon
  9. ^ "Raising trionychid turtles in Yen Bai", Vietnam in Photos, 2013-02-17

Further readingEdit

  • Meylan PA (1987). "The Phylogenetic Relationships of Soft-shelled Turtles (Family Trionychidae)". Bull. American Mus. Nat. Hist. 186 (1): 1-100. (Palea, new genus, p. 94).
  • Siebenrock F (1906). "Zur Kenntnis der Schildkrötenfauna der Insel Hainan ". Zoologischer Anzeiger 30: 578-586. (Trionyx steindachneri, new species, pp. 579–581). (in German).