Southeast Asian Softshell Turtle, Siamese Black Rayed Softshell Turtle, Calico Softshell Turtle , Asiatic Softshell Turtle
Scientific Name: Trionyx cartilagineus
Black Rayed Softshell Turtles usually grow to about 27.5 inches (70 centimeters) in length. Their shells are more leathery than hard and are black to very dark brown in color. Black Rayed Softshell Turtles have shells that are more flat than domed. The head and neck are black, and often small yellow freckles or dots are present over them. The legs of these turtles are also black. The nose tapers to a snorkel-like point.
These turtles get very large and will most likely need to be housed in some sort of outdoor enclosure with a pool area. Because of the soft nature of their shells, Black Rayed Softshell Turtles may be especially susceptible to scratches or biting injuries. They can also be very sensitive to water impurities, so their water should be very clean. Their enclosure should allow an area for soaking and swimming as well as a land area where these turtles can bask in a temperature of about 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Water temperature should be kept between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The water area should have a sandy substrate thick enough to allow the Black Rayed Softshell Turtle to bury itself if it feels the need to hide. They may be fed feeder fish and various invertebrates. Some may even accept cooked chicken or low fat dog food.
Usually, Black Rayed Softshell Turtles deposit between 6 and 30 eggs in their nests. These will hatch after about 138 days, and Black Rayed Softshell Turtles may nest up to four times each year.
Found in Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Sumatra, Singapore, Malaysia, and other countries in southeast Asia
An interesting animal, the Black Rayed Softshell Turtle is, sadly, disappearing from the wild. Though they get very large, hese beautiful turtles have been kept in captivity, although if you choose to keep one, you should look for a captive bred animal to help conserve wild populations.
In the wild, Black Rayed Softshell Turtles often inhabit freshwater rivers. They are never found far from water, since they have aquatic habits. In the wild, they eat a variety of invertebrates, fish, and possibly even aquatic vegetation on occasion. Unfortunately, not much is known about the habits in the wild. Because Black Rayed Softshell Turtles are rather shy of humans, they should be kept in a quiet area. They may defend their territory against other turtles, so they should be kept alone if they are not being bred.
Listed as a CITES protected species, Black Rayed Softshell Turtles are at risk for extinction. Sadly, they continue to be captured and sold, both for food and for the pet trade. They can be found in Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Sumatra, Singapore, Malaysia, and other countries in southeast Asia. They have also been known as Asiatic Softshell Turtles or Siamese Black Rayed Softshell Turtles.