Vertebrate fauna of SE Asia
  

 

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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2020

 
 
     
   
   

 

   
   
 
Chinese Stripe-necked Terrapin
   
   

Fig 1


Fig 2


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family : GEOEMYDIDAE
Species : Mauremys sinensis
Maximum carapace length : 24 cm

In its native habitat the Chinese Stripe-necked Terrapin, or Common Thread Turtle, inhabits lowland, low energy aquatic environments such as marshes, shallow ponds and swamps. The species sometimes enters the exotic pet trade, and thus released specimens may be encountered in manmade environments such as rural ponds and reservoirs.

In the field the species can be identified by the narrow yellow stripes on the head, neck and legs. The carapace is oval, somewhat flattened and brown in colour. On each scute there is typically a paler brown or reddish brown spot. The plastron is yellowish with a dark blotch on each scute.

The species is omnivorous, feeding on aquatic vertebrates such as frogs and fishes, and a variety of aquatic plants.

Within Southeast Asia the species only occurs in northern Vietnam, but its range extends to many parts of southern and eastern China, including Taiwan.


Fig 1 : Feral specimen in a freshwater pond at Sungei Buloh, Singapore. This specimen possesses a reddish brown marking on each scute of the carapace.

Fig 2 : Close-up of the same specimen showing the distinctive narrow, yellow stripes on the head and neck.


References :  H12