The spiny softshell turtle a species of the Trionychia superfamily
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Suborder: Cryptodira
Clade: Polycryptodira
Superfamily: Trionychia
Hummel, 1929[1]

and see text


Trionychia is a superfamily of turtles which encompasses the species that are commonly referred to as softshelled turtles as well as some others. They are found throughout the temperate regions of the world.

It traditionally consisted of a single family, two subfamilies, and 14 genera. However, more recently it was realized that the supposed "Kinosternoidea" are actually early offshoots of the Trionychoidea and not as closely related among each other as it was believed. These two families lack the characteristic trionychoid apomorphies, but possess some highly derived characters of their own, which they moreover evolved independently from each other.


Except for those not assigned to a family, only living genera are listed here.

The eastern mud turtle (Kinosternon subrubrum) is a primitive relative of the true softshells which still has a typical hard turtle shell


  1. Rhodin 2011, p. 000.204
  2. One or more basal lineages formerly believed to be a distinct family

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