The Painted River Terrapin

Alternative Name

Borneo Painted Deep River Turtle, Painted Batagur Terrapin Scientific Name: Callagur borneoensis

  Painted River Terrapin  turtle Care information image

Basic Info

At maturity, Painted River Terrapins usually measure about 23.5 inches (60 centimeters) in length and weigh nearly 4 pounds (1.8 kilograms). The carapace is grayish brown in color and is marked by a bony ridge running dorsally from one end to the other. The head and legs of the Painted River Terrapin are also brown, and its narrow upturned nose resembles a snorkel.


Painted River Terrapins should be allowed a largely aquatic habitat with beach areas to bask on. They may be fed largely on a variety of greens, and will often take feeder fish or invertebrates as well. Breeding Usually, Painted River Terrapins breed between June and August or October and January, depending on which part of Asia they are living in. Females move down river from their usual homes to nest in sandy expanses a few kilometers from the river. Nesting usually occurs at night, when about 20 eggs will be deposited. The hatchling Painted River Terrapins usually emerge in about 70 days.



The Painted River Terrapin is, unfortunately, a critically endangered species. If you wish to own one of these lovely animals, it is important that you help save wild populations of this species by obtaining a captive bred animal. Painted River Terrapins inhabit moderately sized and large rivers that rise and fall with the local tides. They breed in these rivers, dwelling on the sandy shores. They feed on vegetation and fruits that are located near the rivers, and have been known to eat vegetation scraps thrown into their habitats by humans. Normally, Painted River Terrapins rest submerged in the water with only their heads above the surface. They may often be seen basking on logs or large clumps of floating vegetation.




The Painted River Terrapin is a critically endangered species, listed as CITES Appendix II. This means that it is very close to extinction. Native to most of southeastern Asia, the Painted River Terrapin has been tragically exploited both for the pet trade and for the food trade. Their eggs are stolen frequently, and Painted River Terrapins have low reproductive rates. Only two large populations remain known, and even these contain less than 1,000 Terrapins each.

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