Vertebrate fauna of SE Asia
  

 

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

 
 
     
   
   

 

   
   
 
Malayan Softshell Turtle
   
   

Fig 1


Fig 2


Fig 3


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family : TRIONYCHIDAE
Species : Dogania subplana
Maximum carapace length : 35 cm

The Malayan Softshell Turtle, or Forest Softshell Turtle, is an elusive species of clear, fast-flowing streams and quiet muddy backwaters. Lying partly submerged in the substrate, the distinctive patterning helps in its camouflage. However, the pairs of eyespots or ocelli on the carapace tend to stand out.

The neck is long : the upper surface bears longitudinal stripes and the underside is orange in colour. The head is relatively large and the nose tubular in shape, contributing to its charming appearance. The forefeet are greenish.

The species ranges from Burma, Thailand,  Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore to Borneo, Sumatra, the Natuna Islands, Java and the Philippines.


Fig 1 : Juvenile with typical 'four-eye' pattern on its shell.

Fig 2 : Close-up of the same specimen.

Fig 3 : A sub-adult specimen tries to conceal itself in the silty bottom of a forest stream.


References : H1, H2, H3