Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion

1981

Thesis Director

Edward O. Moll

Abstract

This paper investigates the use of penial structure to study the relationships among the turtles of peninsular Malaysia. The penial morphology of Malaysian turtles, mainly batagurines, has not been previously described. Herein penes of 12 Malaysian species are described and compared to three Nearctic species. Each was coded for 22 penial characters which were used for numerical analysis by the NT-SYS numerical taxonomy system of multivariate statistical proceedures. The analysis failed to distinguish groups below the family level when the 15 species were tested. The test also failed to distinguish the complexes within the Batagurinae when they were analyzed separately. Ancillary to the taxonomic analysis, a Spearman Rank Correlation Coefficient showed a high positive correlation between maximum carapace length and penial elaboration. Stained sections of one penis were examined to determine if the plica internae of the glans differed histologically from the rest of the structure. No differences were observed.

It is concluded that penial morphology could be taxonomically useful when used in conjunction with other currently accepted characteristics.

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