The Colchis Pond Terrapin (Emys orbicularis colchica) is a semi-aquatic freshwater chelonian, and a reptile.
The Colchis Pond Terrapin has a light-brown and dark-brown top shell, called a carapace, with a distinctive pattern and a slight dome. Its bottom shell, called a plastron, is beige to light-brown. It has an oval-shaped head with large dark eyes. Its feet have claws with webbing in between to enable it to walk on land and swim in water.
It is a medium-sized terrapin, measuring 12-38 centimetres (5-15 inches) in length.
The European Pond Terrapin (Emys orbicularis) is native to southern and central Europe, west Asia, and north Africa. The Colchis Pond Terrapin is native to Georgia, particularly western Georgia near the Black Sea.
It prefers wetlands in natural forests. It is semi-aquatic, because it spends some of its time in water (aquatic) and some of its time on land (terrestrial). However, it needs to be close to fresh water.
It eats plants and animal matter, but it mostly eats small animals.
The female Colchis Pond Terrapin makes a depression nest on land near water. She lays eggs in the nest and covers them with sand. The gender of the young terrapins, called hatchlings, is temperature-dependent.
Its average life span is 40–60 years.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM