The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.

Cuora flavomarginata
Cuora flavomarginata
(Yellow-margined Box Turtle)

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Cuora flavomarginata (Gray, 1863)

Common name: Yellow-margined Box Turtle

Synonyms and Other Names: Cistoclemmys flavomarginata, Chinese box turtle

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: C. flavomarginata exhibits a dark brown carapace often with a yellow vertebral stripe and yellow to reddish edges on the marginal scutes and adjacent plastral scutes. This characteristic yields the name yellow-margined box turtle. The carapace is highly domed and reaches 17 cm long. The head is gray to pale green on top with yellow sides (Conner and Wheeler, 1998; Oakland Zoo, 2003).

Size: Carpace length up to 17 cm

Native Range: Southern China, Taiwan and the Ryukyu Islands (Cardoza et al., 1993).

Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences:

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Cuora flavomarginata are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
MA199019922Charles; Narragansett
TX202020201Upper San Antonio

Table last updated 12/5/2023

† Populations may not be currently present.

Means of Introduction: Both occurrences are presumed to be released or escaped pets (Cardoza et al., 1993).

Status: Not established. These isolated captures do not indicate an established, breeding population (Cardoza et al., 1993).

Impact of Introduction: None since a population did not establish (Cardoza et al., 1993). C. flavomarginata preys upon snails, worms and other invertebrates (Oakland Zoo, 2003).

Remarks: Females lay clutches of 1 to 3 eggs in dry, shaded soil during March through August; incubation is 75 to 90 days (Conner and Wheeler, 1998; Oakland Zoo, 2003).

References: (click for full references)

Cardoza, J.E., G.S. Jones, T.W. French, and D.B. Halliwell. 1993. Exotic and Translocated Vertebrates of Massachusetts. Fauna of Massachusetts Series. Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, Westborough. 95 pp.

Conner, M. J. and V. Wheeler. 1998. The Chinese Box Turtle, Cistoclemmys flavomarginata (online). Tortuga Gazette 34(10)1-7. Available at URL: http://www.tortoise.org/archives/cflavo.html.

Oakland Zoo. 2003. Animals A-Z:Chinese Box Turtle (online). Available at URL: http://www.oaklandzoo.org/atoz/azchbxtr.html.

Author: McKercher, E.

Revision Date: 1/16/2003

Citation Information:
McKercher, E., 2023, Cuora flavomarginata (Gray, 1863): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=1236, Revision Date: 1/16/2003, Access Date: 12/6/2023

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.


The data represented on this site vary in accuracy, scale, completeness, extent of coverage and origin. It is the user's responsibility to use these data consistent with their intended purpose and within stated limitations. We highly recommend reviewing metadata files prior to interpreting these data.

Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2023]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [12/6/2023].

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