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Post Posted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 12:40 pm   Help! Identify us!

Hi all,

About two weeks ago we bought two baby turts at a pet store here in Jordan, where we have never seen semi-aquatics and where to our knowledge there are no native species. The store was caring for them well, with a hundred or so hatchlings split into four large tanks, all with great filtration and plenty of basking space for everyone. (Although if they don't find homes in the first year or so, there will be a problem...) The salesman didn't know what species they were, and we forgot to ask where they were imported from. When we went back the following week to ask (and to get another one) the branch had closed and all its contents had been moved to another branch across town. We hope to get there soon.

Anyway, we haven't been able to identify them online (thanks for the chelonian.org link, marisa). From their general similarity to RES--except for no red stripe, darker coloring, very long tail, and slightly longer legs and neck--our best guess is that they might be some other type of Slider. Please check out the pics of Scurvy and Tweezer linked below and give us some help if you can. The pics were taken in their temporary setup--they LOVE their rubber duck.

On a side note, the smaller one (Scurvy) learned to submerge right in front of our eyes. He would point his head down and paddle as hard as he could, but had no luck reaching the bottom. Then apparently he realized how to use his lungs to sink straight down--although he still has trouble. For the first day he could barely even break the surface tension of the water because he was so light. We joke that one of his parents was a frog because he can inflate his neck to twice the size of his head. The other one is named Tweezer because we acccidentally let him get his mouth around a whole food pellet, which of course got wedged (like you trying to eat a tennis ball!) and had to be extracted with tweezers.

Best,
Phil & Diya

http://photos.yahoo.com/philip_lentz/ (Check out our 3 tortoises in the other gallery, too!)
diyabolo
 
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Post Posted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 2:18 pm   

I have to say that after looking at pics 4 and 5 especially, I remember a few years back someone on another site who lived in the Phillipines had one that looked almost the same. And the person didn't know what kind of turtle it was either. Do you know if the turtle is native to Jorden?
"You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." -Antoine de Saint Exupery-
marisa
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Post Posted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 2:38 pm   

Right after posting, some more google searching led us to www.turtlepimp.com, where we found a "Japanese Pond Turtle" for sale (http://www.turtlepimp.com/livestock/exotic.php) that looked a lot like ours. We then looked up that species at chelonia.org and found this image: http://www.chelonia.org/MjaponicaDS2.jpg. Seems like a very close match, doesn't it?

That seller asks $65 per baby -- a lot more than the $3 each we paid!

Marisa, as far as we know there are no native semi aquatics in Jordan. They are almost unheard of as pets. We've been to the wetland reserve here, which is about the only place they could live in a mostly desert climate, and there weren't any there.

Best,
Phil & Diya
diyabolo
 
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Post Posted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 2:41 pm   

Well, the tails look similar. Too bad there's no pic of the plastron. (turtlepimp's site cannot be accessed at the moment) I used to live in Tokyo and would sometimes see little long-tailed turtles in petstores, but they were a really deep brown.
"You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." -Antoine de Saint Exupery-
marisa
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Post Posted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 2:45 pm   

Look here: http://www.chelonia.org/mauremys_gallery.htm

Annam pond turtle?
"You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." -Antoine de Saint Exupery-
marisa
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Post Posted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 3:09 pm   

Thanks, marisa. We noticed that one, too. After hunting down more pics, the japonica hatchlings seemed to match more closely--until we found a shot of its plastron, which is totally different from ours. The Annam (Vietnamese) is a much better match for the plastron. So that may be it... but we're still looking.
diyabolo
 
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Post Posted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 11:26 am   

Try this site, it is supposed to be for the Mauremys japonica (japanese pond turtle), it has a few pictures with two pictures of the plastron.:

http://www.geocities.jp/kinkamemushi/sy ... igame.html
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STRAYKINGFISHER
 
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Post Posted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 4:47 pm   Maybe a Reeves?

It is a little hard to see clearly, but it looks to me like the turts have three keels on the carapace. This, and the color and marking on the head make me think it could be a Reeves turtle.
ohiolobo
 
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Post Posted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 11:50 am   

Thanks for the tip, ohiolobo. The Reeves pics turned up by Google seem to vary widely, with hardly any two looking alike--brown, black, grey, green, multicolored, etc... I guess because they live across such a wide area. Some of the pics look similar to ours, and some are completely different. I couldn't find a Reeves plastron pic, but I would guess those vary too anyway. Any Reeves links you can share?

Wish we could take better closeups, but these guys are so small that even our 3.2 megapixel camera can't get good detail!

One conclusion that seems safe now is that whatever their exact species is, they are "semi-terrestrial," which means we'll be giving their home a large dry area with some burrowing material.
diyabolo
 
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Post Posted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 12:03 pm   

Sorry, no linkage to offer. My Reeves had a mostly yellow plastron with a center section that was essentially black. The carapace was basically brown, a sort of chestnut brown. They never get very large, maybe 6 inches. I have read that they prefer about 1/2 land 1/2 water for their habitat. The three keels on the carapace are the key identifying feature.

That was a great turtle! Almost personable, if that description is turtle appropriate. I had it for nearly 20 years but a few years ago it succumbed to a respiratory infection. I never see these in pet shops anymore.
ohiolobo
 
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Post Posted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 12:29 pm   

Here is a good baby Reeves photo. If I can post this link.....

http://turtles.ace-web-hosting.com/Merc ... _Code=CS6I
ohiolobo
 
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Post Posted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 2:06 pm   

Wow, I think you may be right. These do have the three keels and the long tail, plus the same coloring. We might still be open to other conclusions, but until a more perfect match comes along, we'll call them Reeves. It would actually be nice if they stayed that small--means we could get even more of them.

Thanks so much! Sorry about your own Reeves. 20 years sounds like a good run though.

Best,
Phil & Diya
diyabolo
 
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Post Posted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 3:23 pm   

Here is a closer picture of a reeves turtle:
Image

From: http://markmlucas.com/Turtlegallery.htm
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STRAYKINGFISHER
 
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Post Posted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 4:18 pm   

Thanks! Ours don't look much like that larger pic in terms of color or carapace shape, but this one does seem a little older than ours. Given that RES hatchlings look almost nothing like the adults except for the red stripes--we may just have to wait and see.
diyabolo
 
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Post Posted: Sun Jul 17, 2005 10:52 am   

You're welcome, the markings on the neck would probably be similar in younger reeves turtles, I took another look at your turtles and I couldn't make out the ridges, they should be very visible and yours don't seem to have them apart from the middle one.
Image

I would probably go with the japonica one. :D
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