Leith's softshell turtle

Leith's softshell turtle
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Sauropsida
Order: Testudines
Suborder: Cryptodira
Family: Trionychidae
Subfamily: Trionychinae
Genus: Nilssonia[1]
Species: N. leithii
Binomial name
Nilssonia leithii
(Gray, 1872)[1]
  • Trionyx javanicus — Gray, 1831 (part)
  • Testudo gotaghol Buchanan-Hamilton, 1831 (nomen nudum)
  • Aspilus gataghol — Gray, 1872
  • Trionyx leithii Gray, 1872
  • Isola leithii — Gray, 1873
  • Aspideretes leithii O.P. Hay, 1904
  • Trionyx sulcifrons Annandale, 1915
  • Trionyx leithi M.A. Smith, 1931 (ex errore)
  • Amyda leithi Mertens, L. Müller & Rust, 1934
  • Aspideretes leithi
    — Choudhury & Bhupathy, 1993
  • Trionys leithii — Obst, 1996
  • Trionix leithi — Richard, 1999

Leith's softshell turtle (Nilssonia leithii ) is a species of turtle found in peninsular Indian rivers including the Bhavani, Godavari, and Moyar Rivers. The type locality is Pune in India.


The specific name, leithii, is in honor of Andrew H. Leith, a physician with the Bombay Sanitary Commission.[4]


Nilssonia leithii is intermediate between Nilssonia gangetica and Nilssonia hurum. It is like the former in the width of the interorbital apace, the comparatively short mandibular symphysis, and the markings of the head. It is like the latter in the longer and more pointed snout, the absence of a strong ridge on the inner alveolar surface of the mandible, and in the presence, in the young, of four or more dorsal ocelli, which are, however, smaller than in N. hurum.[5]


Leith's softshell turtle is endemic to peninsular India in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu[2] and Odisha[1]


  1. 1 2 3 4 Rhodin 2011, p. 000.207
  2. 1 2 Nilssonia leithii from the IUCN Red list
  3. Fritz 2007, pp. 310-311
  4. Beolens B, Watkins M, Grayson M. 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Nilssonia leithii, p. 155).
  5. Boulenger GA. 1890. The Fauna of British India, Including Ceylon and Burma. Reptilia and Batrachia. London: Secretary of State for India in Council. (Taylor and Francis, printers). xviii + 541 pp. (Trionyx leithii, p. 12).

Further reading

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