Abstract

The Asian giant softshell turtle, Pelochelys cantorii, is endangered and has been designated as a first-grade protected animal in China. This article reports the results of a study on the reproductive biology of Asian giant softshell turtles. Two individuals, a male and a female from the Suijiang River in Guangning County, Guangdong Province, were introduced into captivity 8 yrs ago. The 2 turtles have engaged in mating activity since April 2014, and the female laid a total of 66 eggs in 2014 (25 eggs on 15 June, 22 eggs on 30 June, and 19 eggs on 14 July). The egg laying took an average of 50.6 min. Egg shape was spherical, and mean (± SD) egg mass was 13.27 ± 0.97 g, with mean diameter 2.90 ± 0.12 cm. The viability rate was 46% and the hatching rate 33%, and only 10 neonates successfully hatched. Hatchling body weight averaged 10.0 ± 0.56 g, carapace length averaged 42.25 ± 3.69 mm, carapace width averaged 40.25 ± 1.58 mm, and carapace height averaged 12.54 ± 0.91 mm. The juvenile turtles differed from the adults in body color. The juvenile plastron is white; carapace, head, neck, and limbs have some small irregular black and pale yellow spots.

You do not currently have access to this content.