Added September 14 2003.


African Side-Necked Terrapins

Although this is not a large group of chelonians, they are very widespread throughout sub-Saharan Africa, both in lakes and rivers and in temporary bodies of water. Several species are also found on Madagascar, Mauritius and the Seychelles.

Genus Common Name No. of species Location Notes
Pelomedusa Helmeted/ Marsh Terrapins 1 Most of sub-Saharan Africa No plastron hinge: usually found in temporary water bodies. 
Pelusios Hinged Terrapins  15 Sub-Saharan Africa, Madagascar and islands in the Indian Ocean Plastron hinge present.


Turtles and Tortoises of the World, David Alderton, Blandford, London 1999.

Schildkröten, Gerhard Müller, Eugen Ullmer, Stuttgart 1995.

A Field Guide to the Reptiles of East Africa, Stephen Spawls, Kim Howell, Robert Drewes and James Ashe, Natural World/Academic Press, London 2002.

Field Guide to Snakes and other Reptiles of Southern Africa, Bill Branch, Struik, Capetown 1998.

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