Cuora trifasciata


Three-striped box turtle
Chinese three-striped box turtle
Three-lined box turtle
Three banded box turtle
Golden Coin Turtle

Photo by Louise Liew from Malaysia

Class Reptilia, order Chelonia, family emydidae, subfamily batagurinae, genus Cuora , species trifasciata. There are currently no described subspecies.
Range and natural habitat:
The three-striped box turtle has a fairly small range through northern Vietnam several south China provinces and Hainan Island, China. It lives in clear mountain streams and other sub-tropical to temperate, aquatic situations.
Cuora trifasciata is one of the most colorful Cuora species. The carapace is brown with three distinct black stripes. The two lateral stripes are shorter than the center stripe. Stripes are positioned on the blunt center keel and the shorter, smaller lateral keels. The plastron is almost entirely black except for a partial border of yellow. The underside of the marginals is pinkish-orange with some small dark blotches. The narrow and pointed head sports several colors. The top of the head is yellow, green or olive. There is a thick black stripe which extends back from the nose. It borders a yellow, green or olive oval spot on each side of the head. The slightly hooked upper jaw is yellow and a yellow stripe extends back from the mouth. The lower jaw is also yellow, but the underside of the neck is pink or orange. The limb sockets and underside of the limbs are also pinkish orange, while the upper sides of the limbs are brown, gray or olive green. The carapace is longer and flatter than many other Cuora species. Although the plastron is hinged, the posterior lobe is too small to provide protection for the hind limbs. There is a fairly large notch at the midline of the anal scutes. The male's plastron is only slightly concave, but the male generally has a longer, thicker tail with the cloaca beyond the carapace margin.

Captive care:
The three-striped box turtle is semi-aquatic. In the wild it is often seen in clear mountain streams. It enjoys wading and swimming, but also is known to walk about on land. A large vivarium with enough water for swimming should keep your turtle comfortable. It should offer a cool, shaded area and a warm area with a basking light. A full-spectrum light may have physical and psychological benefits for reptiles. Temperatures should range between 68 - 82 degrees F. This turtle will enjoy a large outdoor enclosure with a pond, if possible. It may be housed outdoors year round in subtropical areas. It can survive brief periods of fairly cold weather by becoming dormant. Breeding is more likely to be successful in a large outdoor environment, and occurs with the return of warm weather in the spring. Courtship and mating occur both in and out of the water, and males are quite aggressive. Diet is thought to be almost entirely carnivorous, however, they may also enjoy nibbling on some aquaric plants.. They are fond of fish, worms, slugs, insects, crayfish, and baby mice. Occasional meals of canned dog or cat food are also acceptable for this carnivorous animal, and can provide a good medium for a vitamin suppliment with calcium.

Back to "Asian Box Turtles"

Malayan box turtle
Yellow-margined (Chinese) box turtle
Flowerback (Indochinese) box turtle

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