Red-bellied Short-necked Turtle

[Emydura subglobosa]

The Red-Bellied Short Necked Turtle has a brown oblong carapace about 26 cm long and slightly domed without a keel. The head is not prominent and short with occasional red streaks. There is a bright yellow V-shaped stripe running on the head above the eyes.

Location: Animals Formerly at Zoo



The range of the Red-Bellied Short Neck Turtle is from southern New Guinea to Cape York, Australia.


Red-Bellied Short Neck Turtles are basically river dwellers.

Conservation Status
Least Concern
Primary Threats


Little is known, but seasonal changes affect the Red-Bellied Short Neck Turtles. Dry seasons retard activity.


Clutch: Usually 10 eggs.


Red-Bellied Short Neck Turtles swim and bask to control internal body temperatures. During the basking process, tears run down the side of the turtle’s head and into the mouth while the mouth opens and closes, known as gular movements. Panting and frothing at the mouth has been observed. Wetting of the head or limbs, removing the extremities from direst exposure to heat, and changes to breathing patterns are all mechanisms that prevent over-heating. Red-bellied short-necked turtles, like other short-neck turtles, snap and bite when threatened, delivering painful wounds. They tuck in their head while tilting their shell towards the predators to reduce damage to soft body parts.


Red-Bellied Short Neck Turtles lay their eggs in the soil of the forest floor, often near the base of trees or in the sandy soil of freshwater swamps during the late, dry season between August and October. These turtles can produce two to four clutches a year. Eggs incubate and hatch the following dry season in July through August. Many factors can impact the incubation and hatching period: ambient temperatures, cloud cover, river levels and flow, tides, and the phase of the moon. High temperatures promote early hatching and cold temperatures promote later hatching times. Hatchlings make their journey to freshwater without parental guidance or protection Red-bellied short-necked turtles typically mature between 7 and 12 years old.

Wild Diet

Mollusks, crustaceans, fish.

Zoo Diet





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