Indian Flapshell Turtle

About Indian Flapshell Turtle : It (Lissemys punctata) is one of the most common softshell turtles found in India.Indian Flapshell Turtle

The “flap-shelled” name stems from the presence of femoral flaps located on the plastron. These flaps of skin cover the limbs when they retract into the shell.

Conservation Status:

IUCN Red List: Vulnerable

CITES: Appendix II

Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule I

Habitat: Indian Flapshell Turtle is a freshwater species. They live in the shallow, quiet, often stagnant waters of rivers, marshes, streams, lakes, ponds, irrigation canals, and tanks.

They are found in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh (Indus and Ganges drainages), and Myanmar (Irrawaddy and Salween Rivers).

Characteristics

Indian Flapshell Turtle prefers waters with sand or mud bottoms because of their tendency to burrow.

They are also well adapted to drought conditions.

They are known to be omnivorous. Their diet consists of frogs, shrimp, snails, aquatic vegetation, plant leaves, flowers, fruits, grasses and seeds.

Threats:

Smuggled and killed for their supposed aphrodisiac properties, used as livestock feed, to make leather from their skins, to make potions from their blood and to use as fishing bait, used for meat and medicines.

Albino Indian Flapshell Turtle

Albino Indian Flapshell turtle

It is an Indian Flapshell Turtle that has been discovered several times in various parts of South Asia.

The different colour of the turtle may be due to albinism – a genetic disorder that causes a complete lack of pigments in the body, or a congenital disorder that is characterized by a complete or partial absence of tyrosine pigment.

Note: Tyrosine is an amino acid that plays a vital role in the formation of melanin. Melanin is the pigment that gives color to eyes, hair and skin. It’s also the same pigment that’s responsible for the color of turtles shells. So, a lack or absence thereof results in turtles having unusual shells and skin colors.

 

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