Indian flapshell turtle

Lissemys punctata, commonly known as the Indian flapshell turtle, is a freshwater turtle species that is widely distributed throughout the Indian subcontinent. Here are some general features, habitat, food habits, conservation status, and places to see Indian flapshell turtles in India.

General features

The Indian flapshell turtle is a medium-sized turtle, with males usually smaller than females. The average size of males is around 18-20 cm in length and a weight of about 450-550 grams, while females are slightly larger, measuring about 22-24 cm in length and weighing around 700-800 grams. They have a flattened, oval-shaped shell that is light brown or olive in color, with dark brown or black spots or lines on it. The skin of the Indian flapshell turtle is usually grayish-brown or olive-green, with a pointed snout and a small, bony plate in front of the eyes.

The number of eggs laid by Lissemys turtles can vary depending on the size and age of the female, as well as other factors such as food availability and environmental conditions.

On average, females of this species lay between 6-8 eggs per clutch, but the number can range from 4-15 eggs. It’s important to note that not all of the eggs laid will hatch and result in adult turtles. Some eggs may be infertile, while others may be predated or destroyed by environmental factors.


Indian flapshell turtles can be found in a variety of freshwater habitats, including rivers, streams, ponds, and lakes. They prefer quiet, still waters that have plenty of vegetation and basking areas. These turtles are most active during the day, but they can also be seen basking on rocks or logs during early morning or late afternoon.

Food habits

Indian flapshell turtles are omnivorous and feed on a variety of aquatic plants, invertebrates, and small fish. They are also known to scavenge on dead animals and carrion. In the wild, they eat insects, mollusks, crustaceans, fish, and plant matter.

Conservation status

The Indian flapshell turtle is not considered to be endangered, but it is classified as a species of least concern on the IUCN Red List. However, the population of this species is declining due to habitat loss, pollution, and over-harvesting for the pet trade. In addition, the Indian flapshell turtle is included in Schedule II of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, which makes it illegal to hunt, trade, or keep these turtles as pets.

Steps taken to save them

Several measures have been taken to protect the Indian flapshell turtle in India. The Indian government has declared some areas as wildlife reserves or protected areas to preserve their habitats. The Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 makes it illegal to hunt, kill, or trade in any native wildlife species, including the Indian flapshell turtle. In addition, some conservation organizations are working to raise awareness about the importance of protecting these turtles and their habitats.

Where to see them

The Indian flapshell turtle can be found in many freshwater habitats throughout India.  They are also commonly found in the Yamuna and Ganga rivers, as well as many ponds and lakes in urban and rural areas. The best time to see them is during the early morning or late afternoon, when they are most active.

In conclusion, the Indian flapshell turtle is a fascinating freshwater turtle species that is found throughout India. Though it is not currently considered endangered, habitat loss, pollution, and over-harvesting for the pet trade are major threats to this species. Conservation efforts, including legal protections and habitat preservation, are being implemented to protect this species. If you are interested in seeing Indian flapshell turtles in the wild, there are many places in India where they can be observed. However, it is important to remember that these turtles are protected by law and should not be disturbed or removed from their natural habitats.

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