South Asian Box Turtle

Cuora amboinensis

Summary 8

The Amboina box turtle (Cuora amboinensis), or southeast Asian box turtle is a species of Asian box turtle.

Diagnosis 9

These turtles have blackish-brown to olive brown colored shells that are not as ornate as many other box turtles. All have a blackish olive head with three yellow stripes on the side. The male can be identified by the slightly concave shape to its plastron. There is no specific pattern to what the underbellies may look like, for either sex. The only true way of telling age is to guess by the texture of the shell, as growth rings form irregularly.[1][2]

There are four subspecies that are primarily differentiated by differences in the color and shape of the carapace:[3]

Cuora amboinensis amboinensis (Wallacean Box Turtle) – eastern Indonesian islands: Ambon Island, Sulawesi, the Moluccas, Buru, Seram, and East Timor and smaller islands in the region.
Have a quite flat shell with a flared marginal scutes. The plastron have a bigger black spots coloration, and possesses a bigger head. Well adapted for an aquatic lifestyle. For individuals suspected to be of this subspecies: Ratio of carapace length / height: 3.08. Average ratio dimensions of plastron spots: 1.21 (almost circular)

Cuora amboinensis couro (West Indonesian Box Turtle) (Schweigger, 1812)[4] – south Indonesian islands: Sumatra, Java, Bali and Sumbawa.
Moderate domed carapace, some individual possesses a flared marginal scutes. The plastron shows black markings on every plastral scutes, Darker in Coloration, more oval black spots on plastron.

Cuora amboinensis kamaroma (South East Asian Box Turtle) Rummler & Fritz, 1991[4] – Malayan box turtle or domed Malayan box turtle. Mainland Indochina (South and Central Vietnam, southern Laos & Cambodia), Thailand (Phang Nga Province etc.), Singapore and mainland Malaysia and Borneo.
High domed carapace and smaller, more elongated and less spotting of black pigments in the plastron. have smaller and shorter tail compared to other subspecies. do not have any flare in the marginal scutes. Average ratio of carapace length / height: 2.82. Average ratio dimensions of plastron spots: 2.14 (small and elongated)

Cuora amboinensis lineata (Burmese Box Turtle) McCord & Philippen, 1998[4] – Myanmar.
Resembles to Cuora amboinensis kamaroma, but in the carapace there is a bright colored mid-dorsal line, and sometimes a bright colored lateral line. The plastral are possesses large black spotting of black similar to the Cuora amboinensis couro.

Conservation 9

Although Cuora amboinensis is classified as Vulnerable by the IUCN,[5] they are able to thrive in some areas of the world. For example, they can be found in the storm drains of Brunei. These are seriously polluted, and yet seem to be extremely popular habitat for these turtles and other animals that can withstand eutrophication. In some places, this species is hunted for use in folk medicine.[6]

Sources and Credits 9

1. "Cuora amboinensis".
2. "Jabberwock Reptiles".
3. Filella (1997); measurements taken at the LCRC 2006-SEP-20.
4. Cuora amboinensis, The Reptile Database
5. ATTWG (2000)
6. da Nóbrega Alves et al. (2008)

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) Bernard DUPONT, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA), https://www.flickr.com/photos/berniedup/7856845294/
  2. (c) Denise Chan, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), http://www.flickr.com/photos/42902413@N00/2333210
  3. (c) Dash Huang, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), https://www.flickr.com/photos/121917432@N02/24919107060/
  4. (c) Vijay Anand Ismavel, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), uploaded by Dr. Vijay Anand Ismavel MS MCh, https://www.flickr.com/photos/ivijayanand/30118897086/
  5. (c) Vijay Anand Ismavel, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), uploaded by Dr. Vijay Anand Ismavel MS MCh, https://www.flickr.com/photos/ivijayanand/29525190143/
  6. (c) Billy Gustafianto, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), uploaded by Billy Gustafianto Lolowang, http://www.inaturalist.org/photos/5247645
  7. (c) Billy Gustafianto, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), uploaded by Billy Gustafianto Lolowang, http://www.inaturalist.org/photos/5247639
  8. Adapted by calebcam from a work by (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuora_amboinensis
  9. (c) calebcam, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA)

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