Radiata turtle

  • Common name: RADIATA TURTLE

    Scientific name: Astrochelys radiata

    Class: Testudinidae

    Order: Chelonia

    Family: Helodermatidae

    Reproduction: incubation from 4 to 6 month, 3 – 10 eggs

    Origin: Madagascar

    Habitat: arid areas

    Diet: herbaceous and succulent plants

  • The radiata turtles are endemic to Madagascar and get their name from the characteristic colour of the black carapace with yellow rays. They live in the arid scrubs of the southwestern part of the country. The radiata have adapted to the habitat in which they live, spending most of the dry season inactive due to high temperatures and food shortages. When the environmental conditions improve, the turtles increase their activity and go in search of herbaceous and succulent plants that they feed on, this season the turtles mate. Once widely spread, radiata are today among the most endangered turtles because of the hunting for food by indigenous populations, the loss of habitat and the international illicit trade of this now rare turtle.

IUCN Red List (International Union for Conservation of Nature) provides information on the conservation status of animals and plants. ( www.iucnredlist.org )