Indochinese/Vietnamese Box Turtle

Indochinese/Vietnamese Box Turtle Cuora galbinifrons

Type of Animal:

Freshwater areas at high elevations, bushy areas at high elevations, high elevation forests/woodlands, damp woodlands, wetlands

Far S Guangxi, Hainan, N Vietnam, N Laos

High-domed carapace (upper shell) w/ alternating areas of dark brown & yellowish cream stripes radiating from middle of shell, yellow/cream chins/throats, yellowish-grey to yellow-red-orange pointed heads (sometimes w/ black speckling), short snouts, plastrons (bottom shells) have hinges at both ends, males have thicker longer tails

Snails, slugs, worms, insects, insect larvae, grubs, fruit, aquatic plants, greens, vegetables, young mice, fish, frogs, lizards, small snakes, berries, leaves

Status in Wild:
Critically Endangered

Breeding in zoos, aquariums, herpetoculture, & breeding centers


Additional Info:

Young: Hatchling
Group: Solitary

Adult: 1.76-2.64 lbs
Young: 5.08 oz

3 months

Life Span:
50 years

Body Length:
Adult: 7.48-8 in
Young: 4 in

Tail Length:
Male: Longer/thicker
Female: Shorter/thinner

Critically endangered due to overcollection for food/medicine/pet/wildlife trade, water pollution, & habitat loss/destruction.
Sometimes hybridize w/ closely related Flowerback/Central Vietnamese/Bourret’s & Keeled Box Turtles. Confusingly, these box turtles also called Flowerbacks.
One of the most heavily trafficked turtles in the world.
Sexually mature at 10 years old.
Rather shy & secretive in the wild.
Active at dawn & dusk (crepuscular).
Not known to hibernate.
Besides also being called Flowerbacks, other names are Flowered Box Turtle, Hundred Flower Box Turtle, Three Hill Box Turtle, & White-Fronted Box Turtle.

Fun Fact(s):
Hinges at both sides of plastron allow them to fully seal themselves in shells.
While called box turtles, these animals & other Asian box turtles not closely related to more famous N American Box Turtles.
In medicine, eggs/blood/bile added to wine providing particular cures, skin/head eaten alone, shell ground into powder/boiled in water, & urine used as eardrops/consumed as beverage. Various concoctions believed to cure coughs/rectal prolapse/deafness/cancer/everything in between.
Indochinese/Vietnamese Box Turtle named Hippo, Brookfield Zoo, taken by me

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