Categories
Asia HK Species Profiles Turtles

Big-headed Turtle – Hong Kong Wildlife | 大頭龜 – 香港野生動物

Days of rainstorm brought this little fella to the mountain stream behind my backyard.

Not an easy find — the Big-headed turtle is a lesser-known endangered species native to Hong Kong, China, and SE Asia.

It is nocturnal and lives in and around mountain streams with fast-running water. Not a slow turtle at all. It is fast and can climb vertically like a master rock climber.

Platysternon megacephalum (Gray, 1831)
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Suborder: Cryptodira
Superfamily: Testudinoidea
Family: Platysternidae
Genus: Platysternon
Species: megacephalum

See more of my encounters with Hong Kong Wildlife.

大頭龜, 鷹咀龜, 平胸龜, 鸚鵡龜

Categories
Africa Me Turtles

Wild Ploughshare Tortoise Is The Rarest Species I’ve Ever Found

Today is Endangered Species Day. (瀕危物種日)

The rarest animal I’ve ever found was the Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis). Only around 20 of them are in the wild. But that’s a subspecies of leopards. In terms of a full species, this is the rarest one in my experience.

Let me introduce the most endangered species I’ve ever found in the wild – the Ploughshare Tortoise of Madagascar.

It is also called Angonoka tortoise (Astrochelys yniphora).

Those big organizations will only tell you about the tigers, rhinos, marine mammals, etc. Probably it’s all about marketing which I have zero idea about.

Let me do something for this species which is TONS more endangered. Help me share this and spread the love before it goes extinct which could happen tomorrow or any day.

If you know of anyone on earth who’s ever seen one of these tortoises in the wild, definitely let me know!

Categories
Asia HK Species Profiles Turtles

Amboina Box Turtle – Hong Kong Wildlife | 馬來閉殼龜 – 香港野生動物

There are only 5 species of freshwater turtles native to Hong Kong. But more than 5 other species can be found in here, and they were introduced. This is one of them.

Amboina box turtle (Cuora amboinensis) is also called Southeast Asian box turtle or Malayan box turtle.

Cuora amboinensis (Daudin, 1802)
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Suborder: Cryptodira
Superfamily: Testudinoidea
Family: Geoemydidae
Genus: Cuora
Species: amboinensis

See more of my encounters with Hong Kong Wildlife.

安布閉殼龜, 馬來箱龜, 安布箱龜, 馬來閉殼龜, 安布盒龜, 馬來盒龜

Categories
Asia HK Species Profiles Turtles

Chinese Box Turtle – Hong Kong Wildlife | 黃緣閉殼龜 – 香港野生動物

There are only 5 species of freshwater turtles native to Hong Kong. But more than 5 other species can be found in here, and they were introduced. This is one of them.

Chinese box turtle (Cuora flavomarginata) is also called Yellow-margined box turtle, or Golden-headed turtle.

Cuora flavomarginata (Gray, 1863)
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Suborder: Cryptodira
Superfamily: Testudinoidea
Family: Geoemydidae
Genus: Cuora
Species: flavomarginata

See more of my encounters with Hong Kong Wildlife.

黃緣盒龜, 黃緣閉殼龜, 黃緣箱龜, 夾板龜, 克蛇龜, 食蛇龜, 金頭龜, 中國盒龜, 中國閉殼龜, 中國箱龜

Categories
Africa Americas Asia Australia Europe HK Species Profiles Turtles

Green Sea Turtle – Hong Kong Wildlife | 綠海龜 – 香港野生動物

Did you know that sea turtles would come to Hong Kong?

There are 7 species of sea turtles in the world, and surprisingly all of them have been spotted in Hong Kong waters. How amazing!

Our most frequent visitor is the Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas). Young turtles are carnivores, preying on crabs, shrimps, jellyfish, and squid. Adults are herbivores, feeding on seaweed.

It is an endangered species, but can be found in all tropical oceans around the world including Hong Kong. They even came ashore! Sham Wan in Lamma Island has a small population known to nest on a regular basis. Only 2 records of nesting outside Lamma Island: Once in Big Wave Bay Beach, Shek O in 2000. Another time in another big wave bay, Tai Long Wan Beach, Sai Kung in 2006.

Oh! Those mama turtles must be surfers. They love big waves!

Chelonia mydas (Linnaeus, 1758)
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Suborder: Cryptodira
Superfamily: Chelonioidea
Family: Cheloniidae
Subfamily: Cheloniinae
Genus: Chelonia
Species: mydas

See more of my encounters with Hong Kong Wildlife.

你知道海龜會到訪香港嗎?

世界上有7種海龜, 意想不到7種都曾經被發現出沒過於香港水域, 真的很神奇!

我們最常見的訪客是Chelonia mydas 綠海龜, 年輕的綠海龜是肉食性動物, 會吃魚蝦蟹及魷魚。成年的綠海龜是草食性動物 主要以海藻為食。

綠海龜是瀕危物種, 但可以在所有熱帶的海洋找得到, 包括香港, 牠們甚至會上岸! 南丫島的深灣沙灘是香港唯一經常有綠海龜產卵的地點, 於南丫島以外, 只有2次紀錄。於2000年一次在石澳大浪灣, 另一次於2006年在西貢大浪灣。

噢 綠海龜媽媽們必定是衝浪者, 牠們都喜歡大浪!

Categories
Asia HK Species Profiles Turtles

Golden Coin Turtle – Hong Kong Wildlife | 金錢龜 – 香港野生動物

The Chinese three-striped box turtle (Cuora trifasciata), or better known as Golden coin turtle in Chinese, used to be very common when I was a kid which I refuse to provide the number of years ago. However, now it has become critically endangered due to habitat destruction and poaching.

This species is now very rare but widely distributed in a few localities in Hong Kong and southern China. I have only found a few of them in mountain streams throughout the years.

Unlike most turtles, this is a nocturnal species. It hides very well during the day. It can grow up to 20 cm. As a carnivore, it feeds on insects, fish, frogs, crabs, and snails.

The plastron (bottom shell) is what makes this turtle special. There is a hinge in the middle, to allow complete closure of the shell. That’s why they are called box turtles. But the plastron is also the reason why they got killed by humans to make a Chinese medicine called “turtle jelly”.

Cuora trifasciata (Bell, 1825)
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Suborder: Cryptodira
Superfamily: Testudinoidea
Family: Geoemydidae
Genus: Cuora
Species: trifasciata

See more of my encounters with Hong Kong Wildlife.

三線閉殼龜, 或者廣為人知的金錢龜, 當我還是小孩的時候其實非常普遍, 不過我不會告訴你實際是多少年以前(笑)。由於棲息地被破壞 以及非法濫捕, 現在已變完成瀕危物種。

這個品種很罕有, 但廣泛分佈於某幾個香港及中國南部的地區。我在這些年只於山澗之中 曾經找到過幾隻。

不似大部分龜類, 這是夜行性的品種, 牠們善於日間躲藏不易被發現。體長可達20厘米。肉食性的金錢龜會以昆蟲, 魚類, 蛙類, 蟹類以及蝸牛為食。

龜腹甲(龜殼底甲)是金錢龜的特別之處, 底甲中間是一個可開合的韌帶, 容許龜殼完全閉合。牠們可以將身體所有部份縮入龜殼以躲開敵人, 也因此牠們被稱為盒龜。但特別的龜甲也是牠們被人類殺害, 來製造具有藥用功效的龜苓膏的原因。