Platysternon megacephalum

Common Name: Big-headed turtle

Described by:
Gray, 1831


Conservation Status: Endangered: IUCN Red List 2006


CITES: Appendix  II

Range of Platysternon megacephalum.
(John B. Iverson)

Range: China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam (northern and central).

Habitat: Aquatic. Cool streams in mountainous areas.

Key Threats: Hunting and trade.


Clutch Size: 1- 2 (CNMA, 2002)
Diet: Omnivorous. Snails, crabs, fish, prawns, worms, frogs and tadpoles.
(Stuart et al., 2001) 

Distinguishing Features: Large head which cannot be withdrawn into the shell. Hooked upper jaw. Flattened carapace with slight vertebral keel. The tail is almost as long as carapace and is covered with large scales. Juveniles have an orange plastron with a black blotch in the center, orange on the limbs, and a black-edged cream stripe along the side of a pale brown head. Adults are dark brown or black, usually with lighter brown or orange spots. Its toes are webbed and each digit contains three phalanges. Forelimbs are light to dark brown and covered with large scales along the inner and outer borders and the heel. (CNMA, 2002, Stuart et al., 2001)

Coloring: Carapace to 17cm.


Adult head.


This field guide was last updated in August 2006.
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