Any review of literature covering the distribution of this introduced turtle should be made with special care, since the name Trachemys scripta, until recently, included almost every Pond Turtle population ranging throughout Middle America, unfortunately, listed as subspecies of T. scripta (Campbell 1998; Köhler 2008). Perhaps this is the reason why T. scripta appears in the Reptile Database as being introduced into all countries of Central America (Uetz et al. 2020). Johnson et al. (2015b) gave an account of the taxonomic and nomenclatural history of many taxa being considered up until that time, but some of that information has changed. Many subspecies of Pond Turtles recently have been rightly elevated to full species, thereby making them native populations to their inclusive ranges throughout Middle America (e.g., Seidel 2002; Fritz et al. 2012; McCranie et al. 2013; Parham et al. 2013, 2015). According to Parham et al. (2015), the native species in Middle America that occurs geographically closest to T. scripta is T. venusta in northeastern Mexico, which in itself has gone through taxonomic reorganization, so today its range is primarily restricted to the Atlantic versant of Middle America into northern South America.
The Trachemys scripta species group (Emydidae) has had a confusing taxonomic history in Middle America, especially those populations occurring in tropical latitudes (Johnson et al. 2015a), so more work is required to properly determine native species boundaries (Parham et al. 2013, 2015). The Ornate Slider is presently considered a Mexican endemic ranging on the Pacific lowlands of Mexico below 300 m elevation from Sinaloa to 4 km northwest of Ixtapa, Guerrero, which is ca. 220 km northwest of the Acapulco, Guerrero area (Mertz et al. 2015). This turtle also was reported to occur in several lagoons around Acapulco and sold for food in local markets (Legler and Vogt 2013). According to Parham et al. (2015), however, all samples they evaluated near Acapulco were T. venusta, which they considered translocations from the Atlantic lowlands of Mexico. Rhodin et al. (2017) alleged that an isolated record of T. scripta (= T. ornata?) in Michoacán and other remote records on the Pacific lowlands in Guerrero might have been introduced as well. A connection between the coastal lagoon systems on the Pacific lowlands, however, might have existed in the past (Legler and Vogt 2013), and possibly still does, so it seems likely to us that the range of T. ornata might extend even farther down the Pacific lowlands past the Acapulco region. We will not include T. ornata as anything other than native until the origins and taxonomic status of those Pacific lowland populations are fully resolved. 2b1af7f3a8