What do they look like? There are at least five species of this genus. They are a medium sized turtle with a shell up to 30cm in size; they have moderately short necks with largish heads. They often have a small pale stripe on the face behind the eye. The shell is usually grey-brown in colour, as is the upper part of the head and neck. They are called Short Necked Turtles to distinguish them from the Long Necked Turtles of the same family.
Where do they live? Short Necked Turtles are rarely seen out of the water. They are found in creeks and lagoons in Australia and New Guinea. They are the most common turtle found along the Daintree River coast. They are more rare in larger open rivers particularly those where crocodiles live.
What do they eat? They eat small fish and frogs as well as algae, larvae, insects, vegetation and small crustaceans.
Behaviour: These turtles like to lie on rocks or logs in smaller streams. The Short Necked Turtle is quite active, with peaks of activity during the morning and afternoon, especially in the warmer months.
Reproduction: The female broad-shelled turtle usually lays her eggs in autumn. Up to three clutches of hard-shelled eggs are laid per season. Turtles nest fairly close to water with nesting activity at its greatest following rain.
Threats: Short Necked Turtles are often caught by freshwater fishermen in their lines and wild turtles are sometimes found with the hooks still embedded in their mouth. Turtles are also vulnerable to the devastation of their habitat.
Conservation Status: Vulnerable