Friday 17 May
Chinese pond turtle (Mauremys reevesii)
Chinese pond turtle fact file
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Chinese pond turtle description
The diminutive Chinese pond turtle (Mauremys reevesii) has a somewhat rectangular upper shell (carapace) with three distinct keels, or ridges, running down its length, which become worn and less pronounced with age (4) (5). The upper shell typically ranges from tan to dark brown (4) (5), while the skin is usually grey-green with yellowish spots and a distinctive pattern of yellow stripes running along the sides of the head and neck (5) (6). However, the shell and skin of melanistic individuals may be completely black and lack this striping (2) (6). Melanism occurs very rarely in females, but is common in older males. The lower shell (plastron) is generally yellow with a large brown blotch on each scute, but is dark brown or black in melanistic individuals (2).
- Also known as
- Chinese coin turtle, Chinese three-keeled pond turtle, golden turtle, Japanese coin turtle, Reeves’ turtle.
- Chinemys reevesii.
- Carapace length: up to 23.6 cm (2)
The Asian Turtle Consortium:
- Opposite of albinism: the tendency of an organism to be a dramatically darker colour than normal due to an increased amount of brown to black pigmentation in the skin, feathers or hair of the individual.
- An organism that feeds on both plants and animals.
- One of the large keratinous scales on the carapace (the top shell of a turtle or tortoise).
IUCN Red List (July, 2011)
- Ernst, C.H., Altenburg, R.G.M. and Barbour, R.W. (1997) Turtles of the World. ETI Information Systems Ltd, Netherlands.
CITES (July, 2011)
The Asian Turtle Consortium (February, 2007)
Kirkpatrick, D.T. The Reeve’s Turtle, Chinemys reevesii: An Alternative to Sliders and Painted Turtles. (February, 2007)
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS): NAS - Nonindigenous Aquatic Species (February, 2007)
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Chinese pond turtle biology
The Chinese pond turtle mates in spring, with nesting occurring in June and July, and up to three clutches of four to nine eggs are laid each season. Newly hatched young in Japan reportedly spend the winter in the nest and emerge in March or April the following spring (2).Top
Chinese pond turtle range
Recorded from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and Korea (5).Top
Chinese pond turtle habitat
Usually found in relatively shallow ponds, marshes, streams and canals that have muddy or sandy bottoms (2) (5). These semi-aquatic turtles will frequently leave the water to bask on rocks or logs (5).Top
Chinese pond turtle statusTop
Chinese pond turtle threats
The Chinese pond turtle makes a popular pet and this has led to its over-collection in China, where the species is also eaten. Elsewhere, the turtle is considered to be under little risk (2).Top
Chinese pond turtle conservation
Its listing on Appendix III of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in China helps regulate the number of Chinese pond turtles that can be exported (3). Fortunately, this species breeds well in captivity and captive-bred individuals now supply much of the demand in the pet market (4).Top
Find out more
For more information on the Chinese pond turtle see:
Authenticated (17/12/07) by Dr. Gerald Kuchling, Western Australian Department of Environment and Conservation and Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the University of Western Australia.Top
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