Chinese Three-striped Box Turtle

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Species group:

Other common names: Golden Coin Turtle

Scientific name: Cuora trifasciata

The basics:
Chinese Three-striped Box Turtles are found from southern China into Vietnam, Taiwan, and surrounding islands. Some reports say they have been found in mountain streams at elevations of up to 1300 feet. They are a highly terrestrial aquatic box turtle. Due to their use for medicinal purposes in China they have become highly endangered and are subject to international laws. The IUCN has listed them as ‘critically endangered.’ Only captive bred Chinese Three-striped Box Turtles should be purchased as pets.

Appearance / health:
Chinese Three-striped Box Turtles are easy to identify with their oval shaped shell with 3 black stripes running along the keels. The center stripe is the longest. They have a brown to reddish brown carapace. When viewed from above their head coloring stands out with light to bright yellow and black stripes along side of head. Their plastron is dark with yellow edging and the undersides of their limbs are orange.


AVERAGE ADULT SIZE: up to 8 inches

These mostly terrestrial aquatic box turtles are a bit more difficult to house and should be considered a “not for the beginner” turtle. Both an indoor for colder weather and an outdoor for warmer weather enclosure should be provided. A minimum sized enclosure for two Chinese Three-striped Box Turtles is 8 square feet of floor space. Their outdoor enclosure should be designed with protection from escaping, predators, and giving them the option to have the benefit of the sun, wind, and rain, or to hide from the elements. They need about half their habitat to be land and half for water. The water should be only deep enough so they can submerge about half of their body. They need high levels of humidity, natural grasses, shrubs, and regular watering will help keep the humidity up outside. In either captive habitat hot and humid is the key to setting up a Chinese Three-striped Box Turtle’s habitat.

LIFESPAN: 30 – 40 years

TEMPERATURE/HUMIDITY: Water Temperature: 75 - 82° F, Basking: 83-87° F; Air Temperatures no less than 75° F, High Humidity.

HIBERNATION / ESTIVATION: These turtles do not hibernate.

HEALTH CONCERNS: Chinese Three-striped Box Turtles originating directly from the wild often suffer from dehydration, starvation, and a high parasite load These conditions are a direct result of the capture and importation process that does little to provide proper care. Care of a wild caught will most likely require months of intensive care and expensive veterinary care to help them survive and eventually be healthy turtles. Those born in captivity and have been given quality care are less likely to be stressed by the pet life and much healthier overall.

Chinese Three-striped Box Turtles are carnivores. A healthy diet for them includes fish, insects, and worms.

Males are aggressive breeders. Breeding takes place after a good rain. The female may lay only one egg per clutch which hatches 2 – 3 months later.


good attitude, good eater

Helpful Chinese Three-striped Box Turtle Review

Chinese Three-striped Box Turtle

From Myershk Jul 2 2015 7:14PM


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