Asian Wood Turtles - Heosemys grandis - Giant Asian Pond Turtle
Heosemys grandisor the Giant Asian Pond Turtle is one of the largest Asian turtles. It is a semi aquatic hard shelled turtle commonly found in South East Asian countries like, Cambodia, Myanmar, Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand. It has a large carapace that may be brown or greyish brown and black. There is a distinct ridge that runs medially across the length of the carapace. This keel is slightly paler than the rest of the body. They have yellow or cream plastron that have black patches and lines on every scute in hatchlings and juveniles. As the turtle matures these black spots grow dull and gradually fade. The posterior and the anterior parts of the plastron are mildly serrated. The plastron is large and completely covers the ventral side of the turtle. In females the plastron is not completely fixed. The Giant Asian Pond turtle has a broad head that might be brown or greyish brown or in some cases black speckled with yellow or golden and pink spots. These spots also disappear in full grown adults. It has a slightly protruding snout and yellow jaws. There is a V shaped shallow indentation on the upper jaw from where tooth like projections protrude. It has large scaly limbs and webbed claws that make them excellent swimmers. The Heosemysgrandiscan reach up to 17 inches in carapace length. The males are usually shorter and have thicker and longer tails then the females. Males also have a slightly concave plastron. The Giant Asian Pond Turtle Habitat The Giant Asian Pond turtle is found in the tropical regions of South East Asia. They usually inhabit fresh water bodies like rivers, lakes, marshes, swamps and streams. Their range extends from mountain streams to sea shores. They usually prefer deep water bodies but are not restricted to deeper sources of water. They can even be found in vegetation or forest areas. This is a semi aquatic species of turtle and has well evolved for survival inside or outside water. For keepers who are planning on keeping or breeding the Giant Asian Pond turtle, it is advised to try an outside garden with a pond. In case that is not available or not possible, a 300-400 gallon water tank is recommended. The water tank should be customized into a vivarium. The water area should be deep enough to completely submerge the turtle. The water should be non chlorinated and filtered at regular intervals. And a submerged water heater should be fitted so as to keep the temperature around 75-80 degree Fahrenheit. The dry land area should have a basking area with overhead hating lamp and UVB light. The vivarium should have a profusion of real and artificial plants to make them feel at home. The Giant Asian Pond Turtle Diet The Giant Asian Pond Turtle is an omnivore and its eating habits depend a lot on the availability of food. In their natural environment they are more inclined towards plants and vegetables. In captivity you can feed them fruits, vegetables, chunks of meat, fish and assorted insects and worms.