Hematologic and serum biochemical analyses were performed on 30 wild-caught, gravid, Australian freshwater chelonians. Species sampled were western long-necked turtles (Chelodina oblonga; n=13), common long-necked turtles (Chelodina longicollis; n=8), and Murray River turtles (Emydura macquarii; n=9). Turtles were obtained from Lake Goolellal in Perth, Western Australia (C. oblonga), and Lake Coranderrk in Healesville, Victoria (C. longicollis and E. macquarii). All turtles were considered healthy at the time of sample collection. Blood results were similar to those reported in other freshwater chelonians, with the exception of elevated calcium levels in all species. Hypercalcemia was attributed to egg development and maturation. A hemoparasite morphologically resembling Haemogregarina clelandi was found in all C. oblonga samples and in four C. longicollis samples. Infection with H. clelandi appeared to have no physiological effects on blood parameters or morphometrics of infected turtles. Blood parameters were also considered poor indicators of female chelonian morphometrics and fecundity.
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Vol. 48 • No. 2