Family : GEOEMYDIDAE
Species : Cuora amboinensis
Maximum Carapace Length : 25 cm
The Malayan Box Terrapin
inhabits lowland lakes, swamps and other water bodies. It feeds on
vegetation, fallen fruits and soft invertebrates such as worms and slugs.
The plastron (the bony
plates on the underside) have a hinge-line which allows the entire animal to
withdraw inside the fully closed shell. The species is best identified by
the arrangement of the yellow striped lines on the head.
The subspecies shown here,
C. a. kamaroma,
ranges from Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore to Borneo. There are two other
subspecies, C.a.amboinensis and C.a.couro, which inhabit the
islands of Indonesia and the Philippines. Feral populations are common, as a
result of deliberate release by Buddhists seeking good luck or 'merit'.
Fig 1 : Specimen in a rocky stream gully at Pulau Pinang, Penang,
Fig 2 : Specimen in a shallow forest stream, Singapore.
Fig 3 : Specimen from Singapore, showing the domed carapace and arrangement
Fig 4 : Close-up of head pattern.
Fig 5 : Dorsal view showing the
hinge in the plastron.
References : H1, H3