Spiny Turtle



It is said that juvenile Spiny Turtles are like walking pin cushions. Spiny Turtles (Heosemys spinosa), are born with very pointed spines on the end of their outer shell scutes (plates), and along their spine. In nature, this makes the younger turtles a tough meal for predators. As Spiny Turtles grow, the sharp spines wear down and handling them isn’t a challenge…Ours have particularly nice red head, neck and leg markings, and are 5 – 6 inches with very pretty reddish and golden brown shells.

Also known as Cog-wheel Turtles, Spiny Turtles are a semi aquatic species found in Burma, Thailand south through Malaysia, Singapore and into Sumatra and Borneo. Their preferred habitats are humid, heavily wooded forests, near clear shallow streams and creeks. This unique species is primarily a herbivore, eating mainly veggies, fruits & berries, and the occasional earth worm or insect.

Setting Spiny turtles up requires only shallow water, moist, shallow substrate, (we like sphagnum moss) tank temperatures in the 70s and low 80s, and a modest basking spot – only in the upper 80s. They are very active foragers, they like to dig in – in a deeper spot of substrate, and are quite intelligent and personable. One detail that we can’t leave out – they have a very beautiful radiating belly pattern that makes them look more like a native carving or craft than a turtle – and reminds you of the heavily wooded forests that they inhabit…

With very few breeders working with Spiny Turtles, they are rarely available in the US – but their unique look and charming personalities make them an excellent one to keep…