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Common Name:
East African Side Necked Turtle
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Common Name:  East African Side Necked Turtle

Other Common Names:  African Mud Turtle, Gaboon Side-neck Terrapin, African Helmeted Turtle, East African Black Mud Turtle

Scientific Name:  Pelusios subniger  (Full Taxonomy)

Group:  

Origin or Range:  Africa and Madagascar

Relative Size:  Smaller Than Average  
    (as compared to other turtles)

Average Lifespan:  ??? year(s)

Compatibility:  Average   
    (as compared to other turtles)

Category:  Reptiles » Turtles
Animal Description:  

The African Side Necked Turtle often makes an interesting pet and is quite hardy.

In the wild, African Side Necked Turtles usually inhabit shallow ponds or streams with muddy bottoms. This way, they can burrow into the mud and aestivate if conditions become too hot or cold for them to tolerate. They tend to be good swimmers. When handling your African Side Necked Turtle, you should be sure that your turtle is aware of you before you pick it up. Because their necks are often carried to one side, movement on the other side of the turtle's body may frighten it and cause it to snap. Many become quite handleable in captivity, however.

At maturity, many African Side Necked Turtles often reach 8 inches in length. Usually, the carapace is slightly domed, and is dark in color, often black. The bottom shell, or plastron, is usually yellow with a dark edge, though the colors of the plastrons may vary from turtle to turtle. Most African Side Necked Turtles have brown colored heads with black or gray spots or dappling. The jaws are usually yellow or tan in color. Their long necks are pulled in to one side, rather than backward into the turtle's shell, and the front of the carapace is hinged.

African Side Necked Turtles are found in eastern Africa below the Sahara and much of Madagascar. They are fairly common in captivity.

Specific Care Information: Relative Care Ease: Average

In captivity, African Side Necked Turtles should be allowed a tank with enough water for them to swim in, in addition to a land area where they can bask. As a general rule, the water should have a depth about equal to the turtle's width. Many people find that a filter provides great help in maintaining a good water quality. Water temperatures should remain between 78 and 82 degree Fahrenheit with a pH of 6 to 6.5. During the day, the temperature of the land area should remain about 83 degrees Fahrenheit with a basking area about 90 degrees. Usually, African Side Necked Turtles are fed invertebrates and a small amount of green vegetation. Commercial turtle chow, low fat dog chow, trout food, apples, or bananas can also be offered from time to time. Because they may not get along well with other animals, even turtles of the same species, African Side Necked Turtles should be kept alone unless you are attempting to breed them.

Breeding and Propagation: Relative Breeding Ease: Uncertain

African Side Necked Turtles seem to breed more readily outdoors and when they have a lot of space.

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Sunday, 21 September 2014