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Black-breasted Leaf Turtle

Geoemyda spengleri


The black-breasted leaf turtle is one of the smallest species of the family Geoemydidae, with individuals having a carapace (shell) length less than 11 cm!

This turtle is one of two species comprising the genus Geoemyda. Together, these two small turtle species diverged from all other living organisms around 40 million years ago. This is around the same time our ancestors diverged from the ancestors of modern tamarins, baboons and capuchin monkeys!

This miniature turtle is threatened by the international pet trade, with many individuals exported from China and Vietnam, and harvesting for food. It has also been reported for sale in Taiwan for use in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

The Chinese Government has assigned the black-breasted leaf turtle to the second grade of the Nation’s Top Priority under Protected Wild Animals and no individuals can be exported from Vietnam without a license. This species has been added to Apendix III of CITES in China.

  • Order: Testudines
  • Family: Geoemydidae
  • Population: Previously abundant
  • Trend: unknown
  • Size: 67.4 - 107mm

EDGE Score

EDGE Score: 5.73 (?)
ED Score: 37.657 (?)
GE / IUCN Red List (?)
Not Evaluated Data Deficient Least Concern Near Threatened Vulnerable Endangered Critically Endangered Extinct in the Wild Extinct


This species is found in China and Vietnam.

Habitat and Ecology

This species is primarily terrestrial, living amongst leaf litter. The species prefers montane forest habitat and rarely enters water. Clutch size in captivity is 1-2 eggs.

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