The Annam Leaf Turtle (Mauremys annamensis) is a small, rare reptile in the chelonian family of tortoises, turtles, and terrapins. It is also known as the Vietnamese Pond Turtle. It is actually a terrapin, and not a turtle, because it does not have flippers. It lives some of the time on land and some of the time in water. It has webbed toes (instead of flippers) to enable it to swim in water and walk on land.
The Annam Leaf Turtle has a dark-brown flattish carapace (upper shell) and a yellow-orange plastron (lower shell) with a black blotch on each scale. The scale is called a scute. It has a wide head with a pale-yellow stripe from its nostrils, through its eyes, and along its neck.
It measures abut 15 centimetres (6 inches) in length.
The Annam Leaf Turtle is endemic to a small area in central Vietnam. It prefers swamps, wetlands, and lowland marshes. It lives partly in water and prefers slow-moving streams. It hides in thick vegetation.
It is an omnivore. It eats insects, fish, and sometimes aquatic plants.
The female lays eggs in a nest in soft sand. She buries the eggs and the young push themselves to the surface after they hatch.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM