Indian Flapshell Turtle Care Sheet for BEGINNERS!

It is a fairly common fresh water turtle in India, and can be found in ponds, steams, marshes, near our house during the rainy season, and in fish markets.

They have a soft leathery shell and are referred to as flap shells because the plastron above their legs has flaps that cover their legs when they retract into the shell.

They have a snout, which is visible in the image above. It measures approximately 240–370 mm in length.

It is omnivorous, which means it consumes everything, including snails, frogs, fish, shrimp, aquatic plants, flowers, fruits, and plant leaves.

My turtles loved aquatic plants (which you can purchase from a fish store; they are also available for purchase from outside ponds and marshes if you know any); you can also attempt to make them eat artificial turtle food, but I’m not sure if they will eat it or not; mine simply refused to eat it no matter how hard I tried; give it a try and perhaps you will be the lucky one.

ALSO SEE: Do Snakes eat Turtles/Tortoise?

indian flapshell turtle care

They prefer quiet, stagnant waters with sand or mud as a substrate because they enjoy burrowing in them, so if you have an outside pond, that would be ideal; additionally, as with all turtle species, you will need to provide a basking area in their pond.

If you are keeping them in a tank or aquarium, the substrate should be sand or mud, and the filtration should ideally be external filters (you will need a powerful filter as they tend to be dirty).

If you cannot afford external power filters, my advice would be to opt for external canister filters.

External canister filters utilize an internal pump to pump water to a canister located outside the tank with an outlet connected to the tank. The water is filtered in the canister’s substrate and then returned to the tank via the outlet.

Provide them with a bulb and a platform on which to bask.

The sketch below provides an overview of the enclosure:-

Indian flapshell turtle enclosure

The above layout is applicable to setting up a tank for any turtle; it is a basic layout that includes all of the items required for setting up the tank; additional features can be added based on your creativity.

  • Breeding

They mature into adults between the ages of 2-3 years. The following image depicts a male and female:

Male is on the right with an elongated body, while female is on the left with a more ovoid body shape; male also has a longer tail.

If you want to learn more about how to tell the difference between male and female, visit the following link: L punctata.htm.

Following mating, eggs are laid twice a year in batches of two to twelve in a nest in a sandy or muddy area exposed to the sun.

What are the Domestic Foods for an Indian Flapshell Turtle?

These freshwater turtles prefer still waters with a sand or mud substrate. They normally burrow into sand or mud in the wild. Water and ambient temperatures should be between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Provide a basking area with a temperature of approximately 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures below freezing can have an effect on appetite and activity. Additionally, UVA/UVB lighting is necessary for good health.

Because these turtles are omnivorous, you should sample a variety of foods. Fish, fruits, vegetables, and freeze-dried foods should all be rotated. Due to their soft shells, they may be more susceptible to shell infections (bacterial or fungal). Poor water quality can compound the problem.

If an Indian flapshell turtle hasnt eaten anything & its been 3 4 days – should I keep her in water or land ?

She’s probably about to hibernate. An aquatic may hibernate comfortably in captivity in a minimum of 18 inches of water, as long as the temperature does not change and produce a total freeze.

Do Indian Flapshell turtle hibernate and what to do when it is not eating the food provided ?

These turtle are from tropical environs and therefore hardly hibernate. However, when the environment becomes colder, it will go into torpor, shutting down its immune system as well as other metabolic processes, including appetite.

Check the temperature of the water and the sunbathing area. Any problems should be addressed.

Inappetance can also be caused by illnesses, which should be investigated by a veterinarian.

Is Indian flapshell turtle banned in India?

No, it is not banned. In fact, The Indian flapshell turtle is one of the most common reptiles in India.

Indian flapshell Turtle male and female Difference

It is only when the male is fully grown that he has a longer, thicker tail than the female does.

The nails of women also tend to be shorter.

The nails on the front feet of males are longer. As a general rule, this is how turtles work.

Price of Indian flapshell turtle

Indian Flap shell turles cost up to 8,000 rupees (approximately $117)

Lifespan of Indian flapshell Turtle

They can live up to 20 years+.

Indian flapshell turtle maximum size

Adult turtles can reach sizes up to 11 cm.

Does Indian flapshell turtle Bite?

Yes, softshelled turtles are usually very aggressive, have very long necks, and cause very painful wounds. 

Is Indian Flapshell Poisonous?

There isn’t a turtle in the world that can hurt you (i.e. they do not have venom glands and an apparatus to inject a toxic substance like a cobra would).

Several types of turtles have been known to eat very toxic grasses, mushrooms, and other things that don’t hurt them at all, but they can store these toxins in their meat and fat.

This could happen if the turtle is eaten by a predator (like a person).

There are only a few examples of people dying in this way.

A wound that hasn’t been cleaned could become infected with bacteria, which could be very dangerous if it doesn’t get better.

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