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 amboinensis
Cuora amboinensis
(Southeast Asian Box Turtle)

Copyright Info
Cuora amboinensis (Riche in Daudin, 1801)

Common name: Southeast Asian Box Turtle

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: The best identifying characteristic of Cuora amboinensis is the wide yellow line running from the front of the head above the nostrils and eyes and along the neck. Similar to North American Box Turtles (genus Terrapene), all Cuora spp. have a hinged plastron (or lower shell) allowing them to almost completely seal their shells from predators. Their shells are not as domed as North American Box Turtles, but are more domed than most other aquatic turtles (Bonin et al. 2006).

Size: 250 mm

Native Range: Southeast Asia from Bangladesh to Indonesia and the Philippines (Bonin et al. 2006).

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 amboinensis are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
TX201520151West Galveston Bay

Table last updated 8/9/2022

† Populations may not be currently present.

Ecology: Cuora amboinensis are primarily aquatic, being found in swamps and small water bodies as well as rice paddies, but will also move and feed on land. Mostly herbivorous, they also eat mollusks, crustaceans, and other invertebrates (Bonin et al. 2006).

Means of Introduction: Probable released pet.

Impact of Introduction: The impacts of this species are currently unknown, as no studies have been done to determine how it has affected ecosystems in the invaded range. The absence of data does not equate to lack of effects. Research is required to evaluate effects before conclusions can be made.

References: (click for full references)

Bonin, F., B. Devaux, and A. Dupre. 2006. Turtles of the World. The John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD.

Author: Freedman, J.A.

Revision Date: 5/20/2022

Citation Information:
Freedman, J.A., 2022, Cuora amboinensis (Riche in Daudin, 1801): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=3807, Revision Date: 5/20/2022, Access Date: 8/11/2022

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. [2022]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [8/11/2022].

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