Chinese Striped-neck turtle, Ocadia sinensis
This beautiful turtle has many narrow stripes of light green and black on the head, neck, and other exposed skin areas. The dark carapace has indistinct reddish markings which often follow the keels. Although juveniles usually have 3 keels, they are not generally present in older adults. A medium sized turtle, O. sinensis can reach 8 or 9 inches.
The Chinese Striped-neck turtle is web footed and highly aquatic. It lives in slow-moving lowland ponds, marshes, and streams in southern China, Taiwan and northern Vietnam.
To create a comfortable vivarium for one juvenile, start with a 20 gal. long aquarium (or larger.) Create a land area in 1/3 to 1/4 of the length, with 4 - 6" of water in the remaining area. 68 -75 degrees F. is a comfortable water temperature. Turtles kept indoors should have a UV-B reptile light, such as ReptiSun. The stripe-neck enjoys basking, so a warm incandescent lamp should be provided over the land area. The basking area should be warmed to about 78 - 84F. Providing a "natural" look with plants, sphagnum moss, wood, etc. may give a newly arrived, stressed turtle a psychological boost.
Striped-neck turtles are primarily herbivorous, feeding on aquatic plants, but they will also take small invertebrates found in the water. Offer a variety of aquatic plants (such as duckweed and water lettuce), romaine lettuce, dandelion, chickweed, and a variety of fruits.Commercial turtle foods (Turtle Brittle, ReptoMin, T.E.N., etc.) offer vitamins and minerals that are important to turtles. A suppliment such as Rep-Cal may be helpful in maintaining good health, used once a week.
As is true for any turtle, O. sinensis would benefit from an outdoor enclosure with a pond. In ratively warm climates, these turtles could remain outdoors all year. Captive breeding is more likely to be successful under those conditions. These species would certainly benefit from captive breeding, which might prevent the removal of large numbers of striped-neck turtles from their natural habitat in Asia.
Imported urtles from Asia are often heavily parasite ridden when they arrive and may have other bacterial and microbial infections. Veterinary care is recommended.
Ernst, C. H. and Barbour, R. W. 1989. Turtles of the World. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C.
Iverson, John. 1992. A revised checklist with distribution maps of the turtles of the world. Privately published, Richmond, Indiana.
Iverson, Kiester, Hughes, Kimerling & Sahr. 1998. Turtles of the World website.
Obst, Fritz Jürgen. 1988. Turtles, Tortoises and Terrapins. St. Martin's Press, New York.
Pritchard, P. C. H. 1979. Encyclopedia of Turtles. TFH Publications, Neptune, New Jersey.