Chinese Soft-shelled Turtle

Pelodiscus sinensis

Summary 4

The Chinese softshell turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis) is a species of turtle that was first described by Arend Friedrich August Wiegmann in 1835 as Trionyx (Aspidonectes ) sinensis. The species is also referred to as the Asiatic soft-shelled turtle. There is a subspecies, P. s. japonicus, which is sometimes erroneously listed as Pelodiscus japonica.

Diagnosis 5

Females of the Chinese softshell turtle can reach up to 33 cm (13 in) in carapace length, while the smaller males reach 27 cm (11 in), but however have longer tails than the females. Maturity is reached at a carapace length of 18–19 cm (7–7.5 in).[1] It has webbed feet for swimming. They are called "softshell" because their carapace lacks horny scutes (scales). The carapace is leathery and pliable, particularly at the sides. The central part of the carapace has a layer of solid bone beneath it, as in other turtles, but this is absent at the outer edges. The light and flexible shell of these turtles allows them to move more easily in open water, or in muddy lake bottoms.[2]

The carapace of these turtles is olive in color and may have dark blotches. The plastron is orange-red, and may also have large dark blotches. The limbs and head are olive dorsally with the forelimbs lighter and the hind-limbs orange-red ventrally. There are dark flecks on the head and dark lines that radiate from the eyes. The throat is mottled and there may be small, dark bars on the lips. A pair of dark blotches is found in front of the tail as well as a black band on the posterior side of each thigh.[3]

Conservation 5

Introduced to Hawaii. Listed as Vulnerable (globally) by the IUCN Red List.

Sources and Credits 5

  1. Ernst, C.H.; and J.E. Lovich (2009). Turtles of the United States and Canada (2 ed.). pp. 639, 641. ISBN 978-0-8018-9121-2.
  2. Obst, Fritz Jurgen (1998). Cogger, H. G.; Zweifel, R. G., eds. Encyclopedia of Reptiles and Amphibians. San Diego: Academic Press. pp. 117–118. ISBN 0-12-178560-2.
  3. C.H. Ernst, R.G.M. Altenburg & R.W. Barbour - Turtles of the World - Pelodiscus sinensis [1]


  1. (c) muzina_shanghai,保留部份權利CC BY-NC-ND,
  2. 由 Tommy 所上傳的 (c) Tommy,保留部份權利CC BY-NC
  3. (c) Sek Keung Lo,保留部份權利CC BY-NC,
  4. (c) Wikipedia,保留部份權利CC BY-SA,
  5. (c) Caleb Cam,保留部份權利CC BY-SA,


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