Sternotherus odoratus


Superkingdom: Eukarya, Kingdom: Animalia, Phylum: Craniata, Class: Reptilia, Order: Testudines, Gigaorder: Casichelydia, Megaorder: Cryptodira, Family: Kinosternidae, Subfamily: Kinosterninae, Genus: Sternotherus, Species: odoratus

Taxonomic History

Testudo odorata Latreille, in Sonnini and Latreille, Histoire Naturelle des Reptiles, Vol 1, 1802:122.
Type Locality: Charleston, South Carolina. Undesignated.
Sternotherus odoratus: Gray, Ann. Phil., Vol. 10, 1825:211
Sternothaerus odoratus Bell, Zool. Journal, Vol. II(7), 1825:305
Kinosternon odoratum Gray, Syn. Reptiles, 1831:35

This species was first described in 1802 by Pierre-André Latreille, who gave it the name Testudo odorata. He found the first, or type, specimen, in the vicinity of Charleston, South Carolina. However, where the type specimen is currently kept is not known. In 1825, John Edward Gray created the genus Sternotherus, to denote the musk turtles, and gave Sternotherus odoratus its new name. Scientists still cannot agree on the relationship between the mud turtles (Kinosternon) and the musk turtles (Sternotherus). For this reason, Sternotherus odoratus is sometimes called Kinosternon odoratum. Some scientists have referred to Sternotherus odoratus as Sternothaerus odoratus. Bell was the first to start this trend. Common names include musk turtle, common musk turtle, stinkpot, skillpot, stinking jim, bottom crawler, stink jim, stinkin' jenny, and Eastern musk turtle.

This species has also been incorrectly called the following names in various contexts:

(Information largely from Babcock 33, Catalogue 287.1-287.4, Conant 41-46, Living Turtles 48, and Schulze, et. al)
last updated April 27, 2000