Red-Bellied Short-Necked Turtle/Pink-Bellied Side-Necked Turtle

Red-Bellied Short-Necked Turtle/Pink-Bellied Side-Necked Turtle Emydura subglobosa

Type of Animal:

Rivers, streams, lakes, lagoons, ponds, swamps, slow-moving waters, seasonal wetlands, temporary pools, marshes, waterholes

N Australia, Papua New Guinea, & surrounding islands

Olive to gray head w/ yellow-cream stripe running from nose tip through eye/into iris, light-colored jaw line, dark gray upper neck, lower neck light gray w/ red streaks, chestnut brown to slate gray carapace (upper shell), same coloration on bottom jaw/belly but sometimes varies to bright orange/yellow/pink, red markings on limbs/tail/abdominal region/plastron (bottom shell), older individuals have more pinkish markings, males have longer thicker tails, females have shorter smaller narrower tails, younger animals brighter, plastrons on older individuals often become pale yellow-orange w/ age, females larger than males

Mollusks, crustaceans, insects, worms, fish, aquatic plants, vegetables, greens, filamentous algae, sponges, periphyton, carrion, seeds, flowers, phytoplankton, fruit

Status in Wild:

Breeding in zoos, aquariums, wildlife centers, & herpetoculture

Groups of around 10 turtles w/ more females than males

Additional Info:

Young: Hatchling
Group: Bale

Male: 1 lb
Female: 4 lbs

3-4 months 

Life Span:
20-50 years

Body Length:
Male: 5.24-6.81 in
Female: 5.98-10.03 in
Young: 1.5 in

Tail Length:
Male: Longer/Thicker
Female: Shorter/Narrower

Main predators of adults are cats, foxes, crocodiles, monitor lizards, water rats, crows, & sharks. Larger turtles & predatory ants eat babies.
Also called Jardine River Turtles & Painted Terrapins.
During breeding season, males communicate w/ females using combo of simultaneous stroking/eye blinking/head bobbing. Both sexes bob heads until mating.
Males never leave water & females only to lay eggs.
Sexually mature at 7 years old.
Females usually lay 4-11 eggs per clutch.
Use broad sharp horny jaws & front feet to tear food.
Often suck up large quantities of water containing prey by gaping/sucking in prey.
Many people in native range eat turtle meat/eggs.

Fun Fact(s):
Scent glands produce musky odor used in defense as well as for male-male competition.
They’ll communicate w/ each other w/ vocalizations too soft for humans to hear.
Most popular Australian turtle kept as pets outside of Australia. However, they’re not beginner pets.
As defense mechanism, they can pull neck in sideways/tilt shell forward, hence name “side-neck.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *