Chitra chitra

Common Name: Southeast Asian narrow-headed softshell turtle

Described by: Gray, 1844

Conservation Status:Critically Endangered: IUCN Red List 2006

CITES:Appendix II

Range of Chitra chitra.
(John B. Iverson)

Range: Thailand (restricted to Mae Klong basin; formerly more widely distributed).

Habitat: Aquatic. Large rivers with clear water and sandy bottoms. (Stuart et al., 2001)

Key Threats: Hunting and trade.


Diet: Carnivorous. Fish, sometimes prawns.

Distinguishing Features: Head long and narrow, with eyes close to tip of snout. Boldly striped pattern on upper surface of head, neck, and shell. 'V'-shaped stripe at base of neck. (Stuart et al., 2001) Turtle light brown with wavy darker pattern on the carapace. Plastron white to cream colored without pattern or markings.

Size: Carapace to 122cm.

Similar Species: Chitra vandijki - recently described Myanmar endemic.


Adult head.


Chitra juvenile.

This field guide was last updated in August 2006.
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