Asian box turtle
|Asian box turtle|
|Amboina box turtle, Cuora amboinensis|
Asian box turtles are turtles of the genus Cuora in the family Geoemydidae. There are about 12 species. The keeled box turtle (Pyxidea mouhotii syn. Cuora mouhotii) is often included in this genus, or separated in the monotypic genus Pyxidea. Genus Cuora is distributed from China to Indonesia and the Philippines.
Cuora species are characterized by a low (e.g. Cuora pani) to high (e.g. Cuora picturata) domed shell, which usually has three keels on the carapace. They are reddish, yellowish, brown, grey, and/or black in color. Some species have bright yellow, black, orange, or white stripes down the length of their keels. Their body color is highly variable, but usually very intense. Most species show stripes of variable color down either side of their heads, which usually meet at the nose.
Asian box turtles are terrestrial, semiaquatic or mainly aquatic, most spending much of their time on the edge of shallow swamps, streams or pond that are dense with vegetation. Most are omnivorous, but carnivores do occur.
Taxonomy and systematics
- Amboina box turtle, C. amboinensis (four subspecies)
- Amboina box turtle, C. a. amboinensis
- Javanese box turtle, C. a. couro
- Malayan box turtle, C. a. kamaroma
- Lineated amboina box turtle, C. a. lineata
- Yellow-headed or golden-headed box turtle, Cuora aurocapitata or C. (pani) aurocapitata
- Bourret's box turtle, C. bourreti
- Ryukyu yellow-margined box turtle, C. evelynae
- Chinese box turtle, yellow-margined box turtle, or snake-eating turtle, C. flavomarginata (two subspecies)
- Indochinese box turtle or Indochinese flowerback box turtle, C. galbinifrons
- McCord's box turtle, C. mccordi
- Keeled box turtle, C. mouhotii
- Pan's box turtle, C. pani = "C. chriskarannarum"
- Southern Vietnamese box turtle, C. picturata
- Golden coin turtle or Chinese three-striped box turtle, C. trifasciata
- Yunnan box turtle, C. yunnanensis - rediscovered in 2004, verified in 2007.
- Zhou's box turtle, C. zhoui = "C. pallidicephala"
Cuora serrata, originally described as C. galbinifrons serrata by Iverson & Mccord and later considered a distinct species are hybrids of the keeled box turtle and taxa of the Indochinese box turtle complex as shown by the genetic studies of Parham et al. and Stuart & Parham (2004). A single specimen of C. serrata has been found in the wild, lending credence to the possibility that other specimens arose through natural hybridization or even from wild populations. No Chinese turtle farm is known to produce C. serrata-like specimens. The occurrence of wild hybrids is often regarded as "evolution in progress", a terminology and point of view that is not always accepted. It has yet to be confirmed, whether all C. serrata from the wild have originated by direct hybridization of C. mouhotii and C. galbinifrons, or also by "hybridisation" of C. serrata × C. serrata.
Unnamed hybrids of several other Cuora taxa are also known, as are intergeneric hybrids such as Mauremys iversoni, a hybrid between Cuora trifasciata and Mauremys mutica which are intentionally produced in Chinese turtle farms.
Wild-caught C. amboinensis specimens were frequently available in the exotic animal trade, but are getting rarer now; other species are rare to commercially extinct.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cuora.|
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- T. Blanck & M. Tang (2005). "Ein neuer Fundort von Cuora pani Song, 1984 mit Diskussion über den taxonomischen Status von Cuora pani und Cuora aurocapitata". Sacalia. 7 (3): 16–37.
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- H. Shi; J. F. Parham; W. B. Simison; J. Wang; S. Gong; B. Fu (2005). "A report on the hybridization between two species of threatened Asian box turtles (Testudines: Cuora) in the wild on Hainan Island (China) with comments on the origin of C. serrata-like turtles". Amphibia-Reptilia. 26 (3): 377–381. doi:10.1163/156853805774408487.
- Zhou et al. (2008)
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