Reeve's Terrapin

Alternative Name
Chinese Three-Keeled Pond Turtle, Reeves Turtle, Coin Turtle Scientific Name: Chinemys reevesii

Basic Info

Rectangular rather than oval like other semi-aquatic turtles, the Reeve's Terrapin rarely exceeds five inches in length. The carapace is characterized by the three raised ridges, or keels, that run the length of the shell. The coloration of Reeve's Terrapin varies greatly depending on the region the turtle came from. The shell, often a very light yellow-brown, can also be dark brown or even black. Likewise, the skin can be either as light as olive or gray-green or as dark as black. Many of the lighter colored Reeve's Terrapins have light yellow or white lines along the neck and head. Male Reeve's Turtles can be distinguished from females by their longer, broader tail and the more concave plastron (under shell). Some say that the male Reeve's Turtles are generally darker than the females.


Reeve's Terrapins can be kept in an outdoor pen or an indoor aquarium. They require both a significant water area with plenty of space to swim and a land area for basking. The air and water temperature should be about 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius), but there should be a basking area in the low to mid 80s (27 to 29 degrees Celsius). They should have full spectrum UV exposure for about 13 hours a day. Captive Reeve's Terrapins can be fed raw meat, cooked chicken, fruit, leafy green vegetables, crickets, earthworms, mealworms, monkey chow, and commercial turtle food. It is essential that the turtle not be overfed, as they will eat until there is no food left. Breeding While courting, the male Reeve's Terrapin will swim circles around the female, attempting to rub his snout to hers. After mating, the females dig nests under plants near the water. They lay clutches of between 4 and 6 eggs, which are then incubated for about 65 to 90 days at around 83 degrees Fahrenheit (28.5 degrees Celsius).


Their preferred homes are shallow and slow moving waterways with sandy or muddy bottoms


The semi-aquatic Reeve's Terrapin is also known as the Chinese Three-Keeled Pond Turtle, Reeve's Turtle, or the Coin Turtle. They are very small, quite docile, and relatively easy to care for. The Reeve's Turtle is one of the most readily available turtles in the United States pet trade and is a very popular pet. While many aquatic turtles are not easily kept indoors, the Reeve's Turtle does well inside because of its smaller size. In the wild, Reeve's Terrapin can be found in ponds, canals, and streams. . These turtles are not entirely aquatic. They often leave the water to bask in the sun, usually perching on rocks or logs. A diurnal animal, Reeve's Terrapin often spends much of its day searching for food. Younger animals often spend more time on land then older turtles.. In captivity, they often overeat because they enjoy food so much.




Reeve's Terrapin can be found in China and Japan. It is often considered the Asian version of the North American sliders and painted turtles. They are common not only in China and Japan but also in Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Reeve's Terrapin is one of the most commonly seen turtles in Japan and is one of the most common pet turtles in the United States.

Common Foods

In its native habitat, Reeve's Terrapin feeds on plants, formulated foods, frogs, fish, and insects

Related feeds
Dog Cat Horse Birds Fish Snake Turtle Tortoise Salamander and Newts