Balkan terrapin

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Balkan terrapin
Balkan terrapin in captivity

Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)[1]
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Suborder: Cryptodira
Superfamily: Testudinoidea
Family: Geoemydidae
Genus: Mauremys
M. rivulata
Binomial name
Mauremys rivulata
  • Emys rivulata Valenciennes, 1833
  • Emys tristrami Gray, 1869
  • Emys caspica var. arabica Gray, 1870
  • Emys pannonica Gray, 1870
  • Emys tristram Gray, 1873 (
    ex errore
  • Emys arabica Gray, 1873
  • Clemmys caspica orientalis Bedriaga, 1881
  • Clemmys caspica var. rivulata Boulenger, 1889
  • Clemmys caspica var. obsoleta Schreiber, 1912
  • Clemmys caspica cretica Mertens, 1946
  • Mauremys caspica rivulata Młynarski, 1969
  • Mauremys rivulata Bour, 1994
  • Mauremys rivulata rivulata Maran, 1996
  • Mauremys rivulata tristrami Maran, 1996
  • Mauremys caspica cretica Bonin, Devaux & Dupré, 1996
  • Emmenia rivulata Vetter, 2006
  • Mauremys rivulata cretica Bonin, Devaux & Dupré, 2006

The Balkan terrapin or western Caspian terrapin (Mauremys rivulata) is a species of terrapin in the family Geoemydidae. It is found in the eastern Mediterranean region. While technically omnivorous, the terrapins are known to prefer meat. They can grow to 25 cm in carapace length, although hatchlings are usually only 3 to 4 cm in length.


It is found in the


Physical description

Balkan terrapin emerging from a river

Mauremys rivulata are fairly large, with carapace lengths up to 25 cm (9.8 in); hatchling turtles of this species are usually between 3 and 4 centimetres (1.2 and 1.6 in) in length.

plastron (the shell on the belly) black, although the latter frequently fades as the turtles age. The species also has horizontal yellowish lines running along the neck and limbs.[7]

Habitat and ecology

The species is mostly lowland, although the terrapins have been recorded as far up as 900 metres (3,000 ft) above sea level. They are found in wetland habitats, including swamps, rivers, and ponds, although they lay their eggs in grassland regions.

Mauremys rivulata are preyed on by large birds and predacious mammals such as mongoose who also feed on the terrapins' eggs, although smaller carnivores may prey on younger turtles with softer shells.[7]


Mauremys rivulata is an omnivorous species, eating both plants and animals, although a preference for meat is documented. Young terrapins will eat small invertebrates as well as small amphibian larvae or carcasses; adult terrapins are known to also eat algae and aquatic plants.[7]

Interactions with humans

Human behaviour affecting the species' habitat has caused population decline.

urbanisation, water engineering projects, and industrial waste from construction.[9]

In the northern portion of its range, the species may hibernate during the winter.[5] Although the terrapins may accept bread offered by humans, they do not have the enzymes needed to digest it, and such offerings are thus bad for their health.[7]



General references

External links