The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.

Podocnemis unifilis
Podocnemis unifilis
(Yellow-spotted River Turtle)

Copyright Info
Podocnemis unifilis Troschel, 1848

Common name: Yellow-spotted River Turtle

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Native Range: Podocnemis unifilis is distributed within Bolivia; Colombia; Ecuador; French Guiana; Guyana; Peru; Suriname; Venezuela; and Bolivia (Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group, 1996).

Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences:

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Podocnemis unifilis are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
FL196419641Florida Southeast Coast

Table last updated 5/22/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

Means of Introduction: Pet escape/release

Status: Failed

Impact of Introduction: The impacts of this species are currently unknown, as no studies have been done to determine how it has affected ecosystems in the invaded range. The absence of data does not equate to lack of effects. It does, however, mean that research is required to evaluate effects before conclusions can be made.

Remarks: The animals were released rather than destroyed when they became sick and unsuitable for sale. None recovered. All released between May and September 1964.

References: (click for full references)

King, W. and T. Krakauer. 1966. The exotic herpetofauna of southeast Florida. Quarterly Journal Florida Academy of Science.  29(2): 144-154.

Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group. 1996. Podocnemis unifilis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. http://www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 20 July 2015.

Author: Powell, R.S.

Revision Date: 8/18/2015

Citation Information:
Powell, R.S., 2024, Podocnemis unifilis Troschel, 1848: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?speciesID=1272, Revision Date: 8/18/2015, Access Date: 5/22/2024

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.


The data represented on this site vary in accuracy, scale, completeness, extent of coverage and origin. It is the user's responsibility to use these data consistent with their intended purpose and within stated limitations. We highly recommend reviewing metadata files prior to interpreting these data.

Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2024]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [5/22/2024].

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