The Reeve's Turtle comes from mainland
China and Japan, where it is poached for food to near extinction and they are now a
listed CITES Appendix III species. Hot House Turtles is proud to support Save The
Asian Turtle Species, where it is hoped that one day Reeve's Turtles will be
released into safe sanctuaries in their country of origin, free of poachers. Female Reeve's
The female Reeve's Turtle grows to approximately
20cm whilst the male will obtain only 12 - 15cm. The male has a very large tail in
comparison to the females.
The shell of the Reeve's Turtle ranges from a
yellowish-brown to a dark brown or black shade, while the skin can range from an olive or
grey-green shade to black. 99% of adult males that are seen in New
Zealand are jet black, including their eyes. Male Reeve's
take on this melanistic appearance from 4-5 years of age.
Female Reeve's Turtles lay 3-5
clutches of eggs per year, averaging 6 eggs per clutch. There
seems to be no rule of thumb as to their laying season, especially if they are housed
outdoors and kept warm year round, so keep an eye out for signs of nests. Female Reeve's
Turtles dig a hole in the ground approximately 100mm deep and 20mm wide in which
they lay their eggs.
Reeve's Turtles are semi aquatic
Turtles and some spend just as much time out of the water as they do in the water. They
are 'bottom walkers' just like the Black Bridged Leaf Turtles. This means
that they aren't strong swimmers like 'aquatic' Turtles, (ie: Eastern Snake-neck
Turtles, Red-eared Turtles, Eastern River Cooters) and tend to walk along the
bottom of their pond / tank rather than swim. Like the Black Bridged Leaf Turtles,
juveniles are better swimmers than adults. If you intend keeping Reeve's Turtles outdoors
(sub-adult/adult) in deeper water, the water temperatures must stay above 20oC
to prevent the risk of drowning. They must be over 10cm shell length to introduce them to
outdoor living. Never house Hatchlings/juveniles outdoors. (See TURTLE
HOUSING TANKS for keeping Turtles indoors.)
Reeve's Turtles are ideal for those
who want to keep something different and are available more readily nowadays.