A Reassessment of the Distribution of Cuora flavomarginata Gray 1863 on Mainland China

Jonathan J. Fong, James Ford Parham, Jinzong Fu


The geographic distribution of Cuora flavomarginata Gray 1863 is poorly known, but an examination of the Chinese literature and museum records helps elucidate its historic range. According to these data, there are two clusters of localities, one on the eastern coast of China near and along the Fuchun and Yangtze River drainage and another in southern China along the Pearl River drainage. The localities in southern China are probably invalid due to the turtle trade. The best estimate of the historical distribution of C. flavomarginata is along the eastern Yangtze River and its associated tributaries as well as the Fuchun drainage. The identification of viable C. flavomarginata populations in these areas, if they still exist, is necessary for their conservation.


Cuora flavomarginata; China; distribution; turtle trade

Full Text:



Artner H., Becker H., and Jost U. (1998), «Erstbericht über Haltung und Nachzucht der Japanischen Sumpfschildkröte Mauremys japonica (Temminck and Schlegel, 1835)», Emys, 5, 5 – 22.

Behler J. (1997), «Troubled times for turtles», in: Proc. of the Int. Conf. Conservation, Restoration and Management of Tortoises and Turtles, July 1993, van Abbema (ed.), Turtle Recovery Program and New York Turtle and Tortoise Society, Purchase (NY).

Bour R. (1980), «Position systematique de Geoclemys palaeannamitica Bourret, 1941 (Reptilia, Testudines, Emydidae)», Amphibia–Reptilia, 1(2), 149 – 159.

Buskirk J. R. (1989), «New locality records for Chinese non-marine chelonians», Asiatic Herpetol. Res., 2, 65 – 68.

Chen B. (1991), The Amphibian and Reptilian Fauna of Anhui, Anhui Publishing House of Science and Technology, Hefei, China.

Chen T. H. and Lue K. Y. (1999), «Population characteristics and egg production of the yellow-margined box turtle, Cuora flavomarginata flavomarginata, in northern Taiwan», Herpetologica, 55(4), 487 – 498.

Chen Y. (1962) «Two chelonians first found near Nanking [= Nanjing], with notes on the habitat and habits of Cyclemys flavomarginata sinensis Hsu», J. Nanking Univ., No. 1, 47 – 50.

De Bruin R. W. F. and Artner H. G. (1999), «On the turtles of Hainan Island, Southern China», Chelonian Conserv. Biol., 3(3), 479 – 486.

Ernst C. H. and Barbour R. W. (1989), Turtles of the World, Smithsonian Inst. Press, Washington – London.

Ernst C. H., Lovich J. E., Laemmerzahl A. F., and Sekscienski S. (1997), «A comparison of plastral scute lengths among members of box turtle genera Cuora and Terrapene», Chelonian Conserv. Biol., 2(4), 603 – 607.

Farkas B. and Sasvári L. (1992), «On freshwater turtles (Testudines) new to China», in: Proc. of the 6th Ord. General Meeting of the Soc. Eur. Herpetol., 1991, pp. 151 – 157.

Gaffney E. S. and Meylan P. A. (1988), «A phylogeny of turtles», in: The Phylogeny and Classification of the Tetrapods. Vol. 1. Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds. Systematics Association Special Volume No. 35A, M. J. Benton (ed.), Clarendon Press, Oxford, pp. 157 – 219.

Guo C., Nie L., and Wang M. (1995), «A cytogenetic study of four species of turtle from China», Acta Gen. Sinica, 22(1), 40 – 45.

Hirayama R. (1984), «Cladistic analysis of batagurine turtles (Batagurinae: Emydidae: Testudinoidea); a preliminary result», Stud. Palaeocheloniol., I, 141 – 157.

Hsu H. (1930), «Preliminary note on a new variety of Clyclemys flavomarginata from China», Contrib. Biol. Lab. Sci. Soc. China. Ser. Zool., 6(1), 1 – 7.

Karsen S. J., Lau M. W., and Bogadek A. (1986), Hong Kong Amphibians and Reptiles, Urban Council, Hong Kong.

Lau M. and Shi H. (2000), «Conservation and trade of terrestrial and freshwater turtles and tortoises in the People’s Republic of China», Chelonian Res. Monogr., 2, 30 – 38.

Li D. (2000), «Cuora pani — first report from Sichuan Province», Sichuan J. Zool., 19(3), 156.

Iverson J. B. (1992), A Revised Checklist with Distribution Maps of the Turtles of the World, Privately Printed, Richmond.

Iverson J. B., Kiester A. R., Hughes L. E., Kimerling A. J., and Sahr K., «Turtles of the World», http://bufo.geo.orst.edu/turtle.

Mell R. (1922), «Beiträge zur Fauna Sinica. I. Die Vertebraten Südchinas; Feldlisten und Feldnoten der Säuger, Vögel, Reptilien, Batrachier», Arch. Naturgesch. Ser. A, 88(10), 1 – 134.

McCord W. P. and Iverson J. B. (1991), «A new box turtle of the genus Cuora (Testudines: Emydidae) with taxonomic notes and a key to the species», Herpetologica, 47(4), 407 – 420.

Parham J. F., Kozak K. H., Simison W. B., and Feldman C. R. (2000), «New species of turtles from China: Endangered species or infrequent hybrids?» in: Proc. of the Fourth Asiatic Herpetol. Conf., July 16 – 20, 2000, Chengdu, China, p. 134.

Parham J. F. and Li D. (1999), «A new locality for Cuora pani Song 1984 with comments on its known range», Asiatic Herpetol. Res., 8, 111 – 113.

Parham J. F. and Wang Y. (2000), «Palea steindachneri: distribution record», Herpetol. Rev., 31(2), 111.

Pope C. H. (1935), The Reptiles of China. Turtles, Crocodilians, Snakes, Lizards, Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., New York, Nat. Hist. Central Asia, Vol. 10.

Shi H. and Parham J. F. (2001), «Preliminary observations of a large turtle farm in Hainan Province, People’s Republic of China», Turtle Tortoise Newslett., 3, 2 – 4.

Shi G. and Yao W. (1983), «Rescue the yellow-edged closing shell turtle», Wild Animals, 4, 22.

Van Dijk P. P., Stuart B. L., and Rhodin A. G. J. (2000), «Asian Turtle Trade», in: Proc. of a Workshop on Conservation and Trade of Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises in Asia, Chelonian Research Foundation, Luneburg (MA).

Wen Y. (1983), «Several new records of reptiles from Guangxi», Acta Herpetol. Sinica, 2(3), 72 – 74.

Wink M., Guicking D., and Fritz U. (2000), «Molecular evidence for hybrid origin of Mauremys iversoni Pritchard et McCord, 1991, and Mauremys pritchardi McCord, 1997 (Reptilia: Testudines: Bataguridae)», Zool. Abh. Mus. Tierkunde, 51(5), 41 – 49.

Xia J. Y., Chen L., Wang Y. Q., Chen B. H. (1983), «Comparative studies and observations on habits of turtles in southern Anhui», Sichuan J. Zool., 2(4), 30 – 34.

Zhang M., Zong Y., and Ma J. (1998), Fauna Sinica Reptilia. Vol. 1, Science Press, Beijing, China.

Zhang S. (1990), «Cuora flavomarginata (Gray)», in: Fauna of Zhejiang. Amphibia and Reptilia, M. Huang, Y. Jin, and C. Cai (eds.), Zhejiang Science and Technology Publishing House, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, pp. 119 – 120.

Zhao E. and Adler K. (1993), Herpetology of China, Soc. for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, Oxford (OH).

Zhou J. X. and Shan Y. X. (1961) «A catalogue of amphibians and reptiles of Henan Province», Joint J. Xinxiang Teachers Coll. Henan Chem. Industry Coll., 2, 38 – 44.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.30906/1026-2296-2002-9-1-8-14


  • There are currently no refbacks.

You can subscribe to the print or electronic version of the journal on the site of EastView Company. If you have any questions, please write to the email sales@ivis.ru