Fun Amboina Box Turtle Facts For Kids

Anusuya Mukherjee
Aug 29, 2023 By Anusuya Mukherjee
Originally Published on Aug 27, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
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Keep reading about the Amboina Box Turtle facts to uncover incredible information about these reptiles

The Amboina or Southeast Asian Box Turtles (Cuora amboinensis) is species of semi-aquatic turtles commonly found in temperatures above 70 degrees F across southeast Asia. These turtles are categorized into four subspecies, namely, the Indonesian box turtle, the Malayan box turtle, the Burmese box turtle, and the Wallacean box turtle.

These turtles belong to the family Geoemydidae under the genus Cuora.

This box turtle (Cuora amboinensis) species are found in warm wetland habitat near lakes, fields, ponds, and marshes. This species is recognized by the prominent three yellow stripes on their head with an overall dark olive-black color on the carapace and a more concave plastron in males.

They reproduce through copulation, and breeding usually takes place in the water. The female digs a burrow and lays one to five eggs, and they nest several times each year.

This Asian box turtle (Cuora amboinensis) has a lifespan of up to 30 years in the wild and is active all year round without hibernating. Their diet is omnivorous, and they feed on mollusks, fruit, fungi, crustaceans, small fish, and insects. Additionally, this species has reached endangerment due to illegal international trade and exploitation of their natural habitat.

If you want to know more about these incredible reptiles, explore the Bog Turtle and Box Turtle fact pages.

Amboina Box Turtle Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an Amboina Box Turtle?

This is a species of box turtles from Southeast Asia from the genus Cuora, popularly known in the pet trade.

What class of animal does the Amboina Box Turtle belong to?

This box turtle (Cuora amboinensis) belongs to the class of Reptilia under the order Testudines.

How many Amboina Box Turtles are there in the world?

The exact numeric distribution of this box turtle species is unknown. However, their current population trend is decreasing, and the animal is suffering from endangerment.

Where does the Amboina Box Turtle live?

This box turtle (Cuora amboinensis) is found across Southeast Asia, distributing its subspecies in various regions.

For example, the Malayan box turtle (Cuora amboinensis kamaroma) is found in the Indochina mainland, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Borneo, the C. a. lineata subspecies is found in Myanmar, the C. a. couro subspecies is spotted in Bali, Indonesian Islands, Java, and Sumatra, and the Wallacean box turtle is found in the Ambon Island, East Timor, Indonesian Islands, Buru, Sulawesi, and the Moluccas.

What is an Amboina Box Turtle habitat?

This box turtle (Cuora amboinensis) prefers living in tropical or terrestrial wetland regions, usually freshwater.

They are found in warm waters within a temperature range of 75-95 degrees F. This species will never be found in waters with a temperature below 70 degrees F. With the right food, temperatures, and living space, these turtles can survive in an enclosure as well.

Who does the Amboina Box Turtle live with?

There are no specifications about the living habits of these turtles. If anything, they are common pets and are fine living in an enclosure as well.

How long does an Amboina Box Turtle live?

The lifespan range of these box turtles (Cuora amboinensis) in the wild is 25-30 years, and captive-bred turtles can live up to 35 years. In addition, the highest recorded lifespan in captivity is around 38 years.

How do they reproduce?

This species of box turtles reach sexual maturity and start breeding at around four to five years. There is little known about their courtship display, but the male is seen biting onto the head of the female so that she pushes into the carapace.

This opens up the back region, giving the male access for copulation.

This species mate underwater, and they do not have a fixed breeding season. The females lay eggs throughout the year with around one to five brittle but large eggs per patch that have an average incubation period of around 76 days across all subspecies.

In the wild, the female selects a well-drained area to avoid flooding, digs a large hole as a nest, and buries her eggs underground.

The young are born alone, and neither of the parents provides care after they hatch. The young have a flat-ish carapace and have a low mortality rate due to predatory animals such as gray herons, monitor lizards, and small mammals.

What is their conservation status?

The Southeast Asian Box Turtle (Cuora amboinensis) population range is declining due to over-exploitation in the international pet trade and habitat destruction. The IUCN has given this species the Endangered conservation status.

Amboina Box Turtle Fun Facts

What does the Amboina Box Turtle look like?

Different subspecies of these aquatic Asian box turtles (Cuora amboinensis) have differences in their appearance, but all of them share some common features, especially the color and domed shell. This species shows some level of sexual dimorphism because mature males usually have a slightly concave plastron, a thicker, elongated tail, and larger claws.

In contrast, the female has a stubbier tail and claws. These Asian box turtles have a characteristic olive-black color on their body with striking three yellow stripes across the face and neck.

The shell has a uniform shade with bluish-black hues.

The C. a. couro and C. a. amboinensis have elongated carapaces, while the Cuora amboinensis kamaroma (Malayan box turtle) has a high-domed one. The distinguishing feature of the C. a. lineata is its light-shade streak passing through the center of the keel.

These turtles have prominent yellow stripes on their face with domed shells

How cute are they?

These Asian box turtles (Cuora amboinensis) are commonly kept in captivity and are loved by many. They do not look too outstanding, but they certainly have a unique charm.

How do they communicate?

Not much is known about the communication pattern among these Asian box turtles.

How big is the Amboina Box Turtle?

The aquatic Amboina Box Turtle size range can be measured between 7.9-9.8 in (20-25 cm), which is around twice the size of a mature Black-breasted Leaf Turtle.

How fast can an Amboina Box Turtle move?

Considering these are turtles (Cuora amboinensis), this species moves slowly, often retracting into the shell when threatened due to their inability to run away. As swimmers, these turtles are comparatively slower than the Red-eared Slider and River Cooter.

How much does an Amboina Box Turtle weigh?

The weight of this aquatic Asian box turtle (Cuora amboinensis) has not been recorded.

What are the male and female names of the species?

The males and females do not go by separate names.

What would you call a baby Amboina Box Turtle?

The aquatic Asian box turtle baby does not have a specific name and can be called a hatchling.

What do they eat?

This Asian box turtle has an omnivorous diet, and they feed on plants, fruits, fungi, mollusks, crustaceans, and small fish.

Are they dangerous?

No, this Asian box turtle species is harmless but may bite when aggravated.

Would they make a good pet?

This Asian box turtle is kept in captivity in many homes, but it is advised that you conduct a thorough research about their enclosure, food, and water temperature. The Amboina Box Turtle aquarium must be semi-aquatic with warm water temperatures of around 82 degrees F with enough space to house a full-grown turtle.

In addition, their enclosure needs weekly cleaning and maintenance with everyday feeding of proper food.

Did you know...

In captivity, the maximum of a tortoise ever recorded was around 4.45 ft (135.8 cm) in Florida.

Do box turtles like to be held?

These Asian box turtles prefer stability in their surroundings and tend to get nervous when involuntarily moved around. As a result, they do not like being held and may bite if they get agitated due to over-handling.

How did Amboina Box Turtles get their name?

These turtles got their name because of their shell's unique ability to seal shut, unlike most turtles. These box turtles have belly hinges that allow them to close their shell almost like a box, and even an ant would not be able to get inside.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Painted Turtle facts and Map Turtle facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Turtle coloring pages.

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Written by Anusuya Mukherjee

Bachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

Anusuya Mukherjee picture

Anusuya MukherjeeBachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

With a wealth of international experience spanning Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East, Anusuya brings a unique perspective to her work as a Content Assistant and Content Updating Coordinator. She holds a law degree from India and has practiced law in India and Kuwait. Anusuya is a fan of rap music and enjoys a good cup of coffee in her free time. Currently, she is working on her novel, "Mr. Ivory Merchant".

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