Fun Four-eyed Turtle Facts For Kids

Nidhi Sahai
Oct 20, 2022 By Nidhi Sahai
Originally Published on Sep 02, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Discover interesting four-eyed turtle facts.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.0 Min

The four-eyed turtle (Sacalia quadriocellata) is one of the most beautiful creatures in the water, with a distinctive pattern of eye-like structures on the back of its head. Belonging to the Chordata phylum, Testudines order, superfamily Testudinoidea, and family Geoemydidae, this turtle comes under the category of wild reptiles.

They show great resemblance to the Beal's four-eyed turtle (Sacalia bealei) in terms of the color of its carapace.

The carapace of this species grows up to 5.9 in (15 cm) and is yellowish-brown to slightly black in color. The presence of yellow spots with black dots on the head of this species gives it the look of an extra four eyes.

They are free-living but, with proper care can be survive in an aquarium.

This turtle can be seen in China and Vietnam but it is on the verge of extinction. They are Critically Endangered and are facing a decrease in the population range.

Have an interest in turtles and want to know about more of them? Here you can know some amazing facts about the snapping turtle and bog turtle.

Four-Eyed Turtle Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a four-eyed turtle?

Four-eyed turtles are a species of turtles of family Geoemydidae living in freshwater bodies such as ponds and brooks. They lay eggs.

What class of animal does a four-eyed turtle belong to?

The  four-eyed turtle belongs to the class Reptilia of the kingdom Animalia. Their scientific name is Sacalia quadriocellata and belong to the genus Sacalia. They are well-known for their distinctive four eyes feature.

How many four-eyed turtles are there in the world?

The exact number of four-eyed turtles is still not known, however we do know that the population of these turtles is decreasing continuously. The IUCN has put them under a status of a Critically Endangered species and these turtles need urgent conservation.

Where does a four-eyed turtle live?

This four-eyed turtle is a freshwater creature but can also be seen in captivity in aquariums. They are primarily from Hong Kong, mainland China, and Vietnam. They are wild reptiles, but these days they are on the verge of extinction and are Critcally Endangered.

What is a four-eyed turtle's habitat?

The species of four-eyed turtles prefer the habitat of freshwater regions like streams, brooks, and ponds. Due to the freshness of mountain waters and the greenery around, this species often inhabit mountainous habitats.

Who do four-eyed turtles live with?

Both males and females are not social creatures and prefer to be live in solitary. They don't mind the company of other turtles and other friendly creatures but do not interact unless it is the breeding season of June. They are diurnal creatures.

How long does a four-eyed turtle live?

The lifespan of the four-eyed turtle is quite good. They are long-living animals and can live up to 40 years and above if taken good care of and given a lot of attention.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding pair only interact during breeding time and the male mates when the female is mature. Unlike other turtles, they lay only one clutch of two or three eggs every year in June.

What is their conservation status?

The four-eyed turtle (Sacalia quadriocellata) population is decreasing and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has placed them under the status of a Critically Endangered species.

Four-Eyed Turtle Fun Facts

What do four-eyed turtles look like?

The four-eyed turtle (Sacalia quadriocellata) is yellowish-tan and chocolate black in color depending on the region and shows very similar characteristics to the Beal's four-eyed turtle (Sacalia bealei). They are recognized easily with the help of the four ocelli on top of their head, which are also yellow in color with black patches in them.

The carapace is brown-black in color and is oval in shape.

The four yellow and black ocelli of this turtle make them very distinctive from other turtles.

* Please note that this is an image of a hawksbill sea turtle, the same class as the four-eyed turtle. If you have an image of a four-eyed turtle, please let us know at

How cute are they?

With their distinctive feature of yellow and black ocelli, they can be considered cute creatures. Their attitude towards humans is friendly which makes them even more attractive.

How do they communicate?

Sacalia quadriocellata communicate by both verbal and non-verbal methods. They show non-verbal communication while mating when they touch a female's neck. Squirting water and biting is also one of their ways turtles talk to each other. These turtles also make a 'hissing' sound through their lungs in emergencies.

How big is a four-eyed turtle?

The four-eyed turtle of family Geoemydidae is a very different turtle in terms of its vivid looks compared to other turtles. The leatherback sea turtle, of the same class as Reptilia, is 10 times heavier in size than a four-eyed turtle.

How fast can a four-eyed turtle move?

Four-eyed turtles usually cruise around with a speed range of 0.9-5.8 mph (1.4-9.3 kph). When sensing danger or a predator, they can reach a speed of up to 22 mph (35 kph).

How much does a four-eyed turtle weigh?

After full growth under proper care and a friendly environment, these turtles attain their maximum size and weigh around 3-4 lb (1.3-1.8 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There is no name given to the male and female turtles of this species.

What would you call a baby four-eyed turtle?

Babies of four-eyed turtles of Sacalia genus are called a hatchlings. They are very cute but touching them can affect their survival.

What do they eat?

The four-eyed turtle (Sacalia quadriocellata) is an omnivore and can eat both grass and meat. Worms, grasshoppers, snails, and grasses are standard food in the four-eyed turtle diet.

Are they dangerous?

The four-eyed turtle is not dangerous and is rather human friendly, but they carry lots of bacteria with them and can harm humans this way. They carry salmonella bacteria which can give birth to diseases in the human body.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, they can make good pets. They need a lot of care and attention throughout their lifetime. They are quite human-friendly and if provided with good care and habitat, they can live for a long time and reach a good body growth as well.

Did you know...

Due to the decreasing population of males and females of this species, the Tennessee Aquarium started an Asian Turtle Breeding Program to help increase this Critically Endangered species and has successfully reproduced them.

How does the four-eyed turtle compared with other turtles?

The four-eyed is a rare type of turtle found in the freshwater of Hong Kong and China. Unlike these turtles, softshell turtles occur in most waters and show great diversity in Asia.

The Indian and Burmese flap shell turtles can be seen in slow-moving streams, have a mud coloring, and are smaller in size. Softshell turtles are used for harvesting. Another turtle similar to narrow-headed softshells and Asian giant softshells live in deep rivers and have shell lengths of more than 39 in (100 cm).

They are poorly conserved and often face habitat loss. The alligator snapping turtle lives in slow-moving streams and backwaters of the U.S. Gulf Coast, while map turtles prefer fast-flowing rivers and streams.

Why are they called four-eyed turtles?

The four-eyed turtle has four eyes-like structures at the back of its head, which are yellow in color with black spots at the center. The heads of males and females have different colors like yellow and green with stripes on the top and pink throat. Because of this ocelli-like structure on their head, they got the name four-eyed turtle.

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 African spurred tortoise facts and map turtle facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our free printable four eyed turtle coloring pages.

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Written by Nidhi Sahai

Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication

Nidhi Sahai picture

Nidhi SahaiBachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication

Dedicated and experienced, Nidhi is a professional content writer with a strong reputation for delivering high-quality work. She has contributed her expertise to esteemed organizations, including Network 18 Media and Investment Ltd. Driven by her insatiable curiosity and love for journalism and mass communication, Nidhi pursued a Bachelor of Arts degree from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, graduating with distinction in 2021. During her college years, she discovered her passion for Video Journalism, showcasing her skills as a videographer for her institution. Nidhi's commitment to making a positive impact extends beyond her professional pursuits. Actively engaging in volunteer work, she has contributed to various events and initiatives throughout her academic career.

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