Monday, April 29, 2019

Sri Lanka Black Turtle

The Indian black turtle (Melanochelys trijuga) is a freshwater turtle in Southern Asia. There are five subspecies, two of which are found in Sri Lanka, M. t. parkeri, found only in Sri Lanka, and M. t. thermalis, found in Sri Lanka, India and the Maldives and known as the Sri Lanka black turtle. 
Sri Lanka black turtle in the lake in Kandy, Sri Lanka.
In Udawalawe NP
In Bundala NP.
The carapace (upper shell) of the black turtle varies from reddish to dark brown and black with yellow streaks running along the length. The plastron (lower shell) is brown. The face can have orange or yellow spots or marks and colors vary between subspecies. 
A closer view of the black turtle in Kandy
This turtle, in Bundala NP, has orange marks on its head, which is consistent with the descriptions, but it looks more like a box turtle. I have my doubts as to whether it is a black turtle. 
These turtles, also found in the lake in Kandy, appear to be red-eared sliders, an invasive species from the U.S., instead of black turtles. They are found on the list of turtles in Sri Lanka


  1. The 5th photo down that you mentioned looks like a box turtle and you have doubts it's a black turtle. I can confirm it's a Sri Lankan Black Pond Turtle (Melanochelys trijuga thermalis) I own some.