Thursday, September 1, 2011

ගල් ඉබ්බා[Gal ibba]/Black Turtle (Melanochelys trijuga)

Two subspecies occurs in the island
1)        Melanochelys trijuga parkeri (Parker’s Black Turtle) – Larger than Spotted Black turtle with more dark shell and uniform olive brown head (or sometime spotted with orange).  It is restricted to Northern areas of the country.

2)        Melanochelys trijuga thermalis (Spotted Black Turtle) – Head spotted with red orange or pink. Widespread in lowland wet and dry zones up to elevation of about 4200ft a.s.l.

Both subspecies are omnivorous and act as a scavenger.  It inhabits still water bodies with aquatic vegetations and spend many hours basking during the day time and forages at night.

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