Thai National Parks

Turtles and tortoises of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Yellow-headed temple turtle

In Thai: เต่าบึงหัวเหลือง, dtao beung hua leuang

Binomial name: Heosemys annandalii, George Albert Boulenger, 1903

The yellow-headed temple turtle (Heosemys annandalii) is a large species of turtle in the family Geoemydidae. The species is native to Southeast Asia.

Etymology

The common name, "yellow-headed temple turtle", is derived from the fact that it is often found near Buddhist temples within its range.

The specific name, annandalii, is in honor of Scottish herpetologist Nelson Annandale.

Description

H. annandalii may grow to over 20 in (51 cm) in straight carapace length.

Behavior

H. annandalii is aquatic, and is generally herbivorous.

Conservation status

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) suspended trade of yellow-headed temple turtles in July 2012.

Geographic range

H. annandalii is found in Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and possibly Myanmar.

Captivity

H. annandalii may live in captivity for up to 35 years.

Two turtles were hatched in November 2019 at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Heosemys annadali has been breed in captivity.

Parasites

The leech Placobdelloides siamensis is an ectoparasite of this turtle.

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Scientific classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Sauropsida
Order
Testudines
Family
Geoemydidae
Genus
Heosemys
Species
Heosemys annandalii

Common names

  • German: Tempelschildkröte
  • English: Yellow-headed temple turtle
  • Thai: เต่าบึงหัวเหลือง, dtao beung hua leuang

Synonyms

  • Hieremys annandali, Markus Auer (2011)
  • Heosemys annandalii, Arvin Cantor Diesmos, J.F. Parham, Bryan L. Stuart & Rafe M. Brown (2005)
  • Hieremys annandalii, Merel J. Cox et al. (1998)
  • Hieremys annandalii, Ulrich Manthey & Wolfgang Grossmann (1997)
  • Hieremys annandali, Robert Mertens & Lorenz Müller & Rust (1934)
  • Hieremys annandalii, Malcolm Arthur Smith (1930)
  • Cyclemys annandalei, Malcolm Arthur Smith (1930)
  • Cyclemys annandali, R. Mell (1929)
  • Hieremys annandalei, Malcolm Arthur Smith (1916)
  • Cyclemys annandalii, George Albert Boulenger (1903)

Conservation status

Endangered (IUCN2.3)

Endangered (IUCN2.3)

Photos

Heosemys annandalii
Heosemys annandalii
Yellow-headed temple turtle

Range Map

Distribution map of Yellow-headed temple turtle, Heosemys annandalii in Thailand
  • Khai Bang Rachan District, Sing Buri
  • Kham Thale So District, Nakhon Ratchasima
  • Khao Yai National Park
  • Mueang Nonthaburi District, Nonthaburi
  • Tha Mai District, Chanthaburi
Range map of Heosemys annandalii in Thailand