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Malayan Flat-shelled Terrapin
   
   

Fig 1


Fig 2


Fig 3


Fig 4


 

 

 

Family : GEOEMYDIDAE
Species : Notochelys platynota
Maximum Carapace Length : 36 cm

The Malayan Flat-shelled Terrapin typically inhabits streams and shallow water bodies in freshwater swamp forest habitats.

The dark brown carapace is broad and markedly flat on top. There is always a sixth, and sometimes a seventh vertebral scute : the presence of these is considered diagnostic for the species. (The vertebral scutes are the central row of shell plates running along the centre of the back). The tail is short and pointed, and the snout angular.

Juveniles are quite different in appearance : the carapace is an attractive bright green,  with small black spots.

Adults feed mainly on aquatic vegetation and fallen forest fruits, while juveniles may also consume aquatic invertebrates

The species ranges from southern Thailand, through Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore, to Sumatra, Borneo and Java.


Figs 1 and 2 : This medium-sized specimen, with a carapace length of around 20 cm was found in a shallow forest stream in Singapore's central forests.

Fig 3 : Fully-grown adult specimen from Sungai Relau, Taman Negara, Peninsular Malaysia.

Fig 4 : Habitat at Sungai Relau - a fast flowing, clear, well-shaded river passing through primary lowland forest.


References : H1, H2, H3, H4