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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless credited to others.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2024







Cuban Slider

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3

Fig 4








Species : Trachemys decussata
Maximum carapace length : ??

The Cuban Slider Trachemys decussata is native to Cuba, in the Caribbean islands. Juveniles of the species are sometimes traded alongside the Red-eared Terrapin Trachemys scripta elegans and are later released by their owners.

In its natural habitat this terrapin inhabits freshwater lakes, ponds and rivers.

The images on this page are of two examples found living freely in the inland manmade reservoirs of Singapore Island, which are surrounded by a mosaic of secondary, lowland forest; they were probably purchased as pets, and then were either released when they had grown too large, or were released as part of the  'merit-making' tenet of the Buddhist faith. 

Gray (1831), who first described this species, gave the following description: "It is easily distinguished by uniform colour, and irregularly radiately grooved plates, decussated by small, irregular, concentric wrinkles".

The overall greyish head and creamy throat with fine mottling, as shown in these images, appears to be typical of the species.

Figs 1 to 3 : An example from Macritchie Reservoir, Singapore, seen basking on a fallen tree in a shallow inlet. It had an estimated carapace length of 25 cm.

Fig 4 : An example from Lower Peirce Reservoir, Singapore, seen basking on a fallen tree. It had an estimated carapace length of 35 cm.

References :

Gray, J. E. 1831. A synopsis of the species of Class Reptilia. In: Griffith, E & E. Pidgeon: The animal kingdom arranged in conformity with its organisation by the Baron Cuvier with additional descriptions of all the species hither named, and of many before noticed [V Whittaker, Treacher and Co., London: 481 + 110 pp.

Links :

Reptile Database

Singapore Biodiversity Records