Indian Roofed Turtle

The Indian Roofed Turtle (Pangshura tecta) is a species of freshwater turtle found in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan. It is one of the most commonly seen turtles in South Asia and can be found in a variety of habitats, including slow-moving streams, marshes, ponds, and even lakes. 

General Features

The Indian Roofed Turtle is a medium-sized turtle species, with adults reaching up to 35 cm in length and weighing up to 2 kg. They have a brownish-olive carapace (upper shell) that is slightly domed and marked with yellowish or brownish stripes. Their plastron (lower shell) is light-colored and unmarked. They have a distinctive tent-like structure on their head, which is used for protection and camouflage. The Indian Roofed Turtle is a solitary species, and while they may occasionally be seen in groups, they will usually remain solitary. They are territorial and may become aggressive towards other turtles if they are too close to their territory. They are also quite resilient and can survive in a variety of water conditions, including polluted and polluted areas.

Habitat and Distribution

The Indian Roofed Turtle is found in various parts of India, including the Gangetic plains, North-Eastern India, and the Western Ghats. They prefer slow-moving or still water with muddy or sandy bottoms and plenty of aquatic vegetation. They are often found in ponds, lakes, canals, and slow-moving rivers.

Food Habits

The Indian Roofed Turtle is a carnivore, feeding mainly on small aquatic invertebrates such as insects, snails, and crustaceans. They will also eat carrion, small fish, and frogs. They are mainly active during the day, and can be seen basking in the sun on logs or rocks. The Indian Roofed Turtle is an omnivore, meaning it will also feed on plant matter such as algae and aquatic vegetation. This helps the turtles to create their own food sources in their environment and provide them with a reliable food source.


The breeding season for the Indian Roofed Turtle in India is from November to March. The females come ashore to lay eggs in sandy or gravelly banks of rivers or streams. They usually lay 6-8 eggs per clutch, which hatch after 60-70 days of incubation.

Conservation Status

The Indian Roofed Turtle is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List due to habitat loss, overexploitation for food and traditional medicine, and other anthropogenic activities. The species is protected under the Wildlife Protection Act of India, and various conservation measures have been taken to conserve this species in the wild. Some of the steps being taken include habitat restoration, enforcement of wildlife laws, and awareness programs to discourage the trade of these turtles as food or for traditional medicine.

Places to See Indian Roofed Turtle

The Indian Roofed Turtle can be found in various wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in India, such as Keoladeo National Park in Rajasthan, Nameri National Park in Assam, and Sariska Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan. The best time to see them is during the breeding season, which is from November to March.

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