Excerpt from Geoemyda spengleri Species Profile
Description and Identification
Geoemyda spengleri is among the world’s smallest turtles, with a SCL length of no more than 11cm (4.3”). The carapace is somewhat elongated, rather flattened, and widest in the posterior half of the body. Its color varies from a yellow-brown to gray-brown and dark-brown. Darker than the rest of the carapace, three well-developed keels run down the carapace, with the vertebral keel being the most prominent. The marginal scutes are strongly serrated, each posterior marginal formed like a sharp tooth. The plastron is black with a yellow border, almost as …
Geoemyda spengleri is found in northern and central Vietnam and southern China in Guangdong, Guangxi, and Hainan Island. There are unconfirmed reports of sightings in Borneo and Laos.
The Black-Breasted Leaf Turtle of Southern China and Northern Vietnam is almost completely terrestrial, spending much of its time hiding among leaf litter in the forrest. This species is rarely seen in water and prefers wild, wooded mountain areas, where …
This species is a large part of our efforts here at theTurtleRoom. In addition to the well-established, regularly producing pair owned by Anthony and Steve, Joe has also joined our spengleri effort. In total, theTurtleRoom now maintains a total group of 2.2.10, with 1.1.4 in the AZA SSP for the species.
We plan to continue growing these groups and would be interested in adults and hatchlings as they become available.
Anthony's & Steve's Group
Now belonging to Anthony and Steve, and under the care of Anthony, the 1.1 lead pair is now in its 12th year with members of theTurtleRoom (since 2004 when the last imports came into the US). This female started producing eggs in 2005 and continues to produce each year. She had another great year in 2014 with 3 single-egg clutches, all hatched successfully. Anthony and Steve currently maintain a total group of 1.1.6. One of these unsexed animals is a new bloodline recently added, and another is the result of out adult male being studded out.
It was not until 2008 that Ben’s first CB Geoemyda spengleri hatched from this pair. Since then, 1-3 hatchlings per year have been produced. She lays 2-3 clutches per year, with 1 egg, occasionally 2 eggs, in each clutch. This pair and their recent offspring are listed in the AZA SSP and Studbook for the species.
While under Ben’s care, they were housed individually (except during breeding season) in planted enclosures in a greenhouse. They experienced a natural photo-period as well as cooler, dryer temperatures during the winter months. Lows in the winter averaged around 58F and they have experienced temperatures in the low 40sF without ill effect. High temperatures during the winter depended on the intensity of the sun, sometimes just a few degrees above the lows, other times up to the mid-70sF. They were not offered food during their winter dormancy and were not misted often. During the heat of the summer, air temperatures in the greenhouse could get as high as 100F. The turtles had adequate shade, cool water, and piles of leaves to cool off in. They were also heavily misted several times a day in extreme heat. The low temperatures during the summer sometimes did not drop below 80F for a few months.
High winter temperatures are now in the low to mid 60s with Anthony. They are not offered food during their winter dormancy and were not misted often. In summer, high temperatures are roughly 90F. The turtles have adequate shade, cool water, and piles of leaves to cool off or hide in. They are also heavily misted several times a day in extreme heat. Low temperatures during the summer still will often stay above 80F, sometimes without breaking below for weeks or months. We believe the seasonal fluctuations are as important as anything related to breeding success.
Geoemyda spengeleri is primarily carnivorous. They will easily become obese from their willingness to eat. We typically offer food to adults 2-3 times weekly during their active period. Shrimp, worms, mealworms, softened Mazuri Fresh Water Turtle Diet, and a ground turkey mix compose the majority of their diet. Fruits such as grapes, banana and strawberries will occasionally be eaten. Each individual has their own preferences. On an interesting note, the lead adult pair of theTurtleRoom’s group refused all fruit for many years. Ben continued to offer fruit anyway, and out of the blue they just started to eat the fruit and continue to do so. We have never heard of adults that do not accept fruit while producing healthy offspring. We are unsure if this is a direct correlation, or if both simply relate to husbandry and an individual turtle’s acclimation to captive care. Please contact us if you have kept an adult turtle that did not consume fruit but did produce young, so we can continue to be diligent on the topic.
Joe acquired his first two Geoemyda spengleri as hatchlings in 2013, and they are looking like they will be a 1.1 pair. Since falling in love with the species after aquiring these two, he has added four more to his group – an adult female of unknown age and three 2014 hatches – bringing his total to six. Each of these animals is kept in its own vivarium designed to mimic their natural surroundings.