Home Bio MS Pricelist Edible Plants Florida Turtles Florida Turtle Fossils Roadkill Presentations Books Videos Turtles of the World Links Glossary

Callagur borneoensis


Painted Terrapin

DISTRIBUTION: Indonesia and Malaysia.

EMPIRE STOCK: WC exported from Indonesia and Malaysia and CBB.

SIZE: Up to 60cm SCL.

HABITAT: Mainly found in the freshwater  and estuary parts of  rivers in their range, they are known to enter full salt water and nest on the same beaches as Sea Turtles

DIET: Almost exclusively vegetarian as adults, in the wild they are known to eat Mangrove leaves and fruit. My adults are currently feeding on Romaine, Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), Mazuri Tortoise Diet, Mangoes, Banana, Cantaloupe, and occasionally Mazuri Turtle. They have shown little to no interest in apples and strawberries. Two red fruits that other herbivorous turtles and tortoises would relish. They also have passed on various forms of meat I have offered.

In the Molls' book on River Turtles, they mention observing leaf monkeys throwing Berembang fruit down to Callagurs in the water. I imagine my turtles thinking nothing odd about another primate tossing them a meal. So far, I just toss it in from the side and not while hanging from the tree over the pond.

SEXING: Callagurs are sexually dimorphic, females are larger than males, and sexually dichromatic, males are differently colored than females. This color difference becomes more noticeable during breeding season.

BREEDING: I have only witnessed courtship once, at night, and have never seen actual copulation. My males cycle through their breeding colors a number of times within a year.

My first clutch was produced in March of 2003. Since then, all other clutches have come in March or April. The eggs are elongate, and the shells seem to be easily damaged.  I suggest care in handling and a high humidity during incubation.

NOTES: Loss of habitat, human consumption of eggs and adults, and limited range have led to a decline in these turtles in the wild. They are currently on CITES appendix II.

I initially kept my animals in a brackish pond, but eventually shifted to freshwater, for reasons of practicality. They have been kept completely in freshwater for the last five years with no apparent problems.

All of my original stock was Wild Caught and had noticeable to serious shell damage at the time of purchase. At least a few  of them were known to come directly from the "food markets". Most of the damage was no longer visible after two years. Their pond is soft bottomed with a "deep" section of 1M and an area that gently slopes up to the sandy beach land section.

Callagurs love to bask. They are very shy on land and tend to make a dash for the water when disturbed.




The Callagur's Pond



Suggested Reading

Dunson, W. A., and Edward O. Moll. 1980. Osmoregulation in Sea Water of Hatchling Emydid Turtles, Callagur borneoensis, from a Malaysian Sea Beach. Journal of Herpetology 14(1): 31-36.

Moll, E. O., K. E. Matson, E. B. Krehbiel. 1981. Sexual and seasonal dichromatism in the Asian River Turtle Callagur borneoensis. Herpetologica 37(4): 181-194.