The Reeve’s Turtle, Mauremys reevesii, (a/k/a Chinese Three-Keeled Pond Turtle, Japanese Coin Turtle, Golden Turtle) was one of the first Asian species available to aspiring herpetologists of my generation. Early-on, I found it to be as hardy, even-tempered and willing to breed as the Red-eared Slider, but easier to accommodate in, especially for one with limited space. In time, it appeared less often in the trade, and my work with rarer Asian turtles at the Bronx Zoo kept the species “off my radar” for some years. Today I’m happy to see that both new and experienced turtle fans are again keeping this fascinating denizen of East Asia’s wetlands. In my opinion, Reeve’s Turtles make better “first reptile pets” than does the slider, yet is interesting enough for the most advanced turtle-enthusiasts. Today I’ll review its care and natural history…please post your own thoughts and experiences below.
Reeve’s Turtles vary from tan to black in carapace color, with many sporting a pleasing combination of several shades, and the head and neck are marked with broken yellow lines. The carapace’s 3 sharp keels lend interest to its appearance. Most top out at 5 inches in length, but I’ve seen a number of 8-9 inch long individuals. Some Japanese populations produce turtles in the 12 inch range.
Color, pattern, size and head width vary widely across the huge range. Although 1 species is recognized at present, genetic evaluation may lead to the naming of additional species or sub-species. Read More »