Phrynops geoffroanus



Scientific Name: Phrynops geoffroanus

Reptile Database


Animal Diversity Web



Local Names: cangapara ou tartaruga-do-pescoço-de-cobra.

South  America: bachala.
English: Geoffroy’s Side-necked Turtle.

Length: Up to 39 cms.

Appearance:  Juveniles have a vivid red-orange plastron with contrasting black dots. In adults this changes to yellow-brown. The head and neck has lines of dark green and black. The long neck is approximately 20% of the shell length. Males are smaller than females and have a longer thicker tail. In males the cloaca is located further away from the body.

Habitat: This species is widely disributed. In Brazil it lives in Amazonia through Minas Gerais and Sao Paulo down to Argentina. It lives in small rivers, lakes and the polluted waterways in cities.

Diet: They are omivores consuming fish, insects and other arthropods, molluscs and fruit.

Feeding Habits of Phrynops geoffroanus (Chelidae) in an Urban River in Central Brazil (link)

Reprodution: The nesting period occurs the water level in the river starts to fall. Egg laying may occur up to 4 times in one season. with an average of 28 eggs in each nest. The incubation period varies according to the humidity and temperature of the nest, and can be as much as five months.

Nesting of Phrynops geoffroanus (Testudines: Chelidae) on sandy beaches along the Upper Xingu River, Brazil (link)

Exploitation: The main threats to the species are habitat reduction and illegal use (harvesting). The species is used for human consumption in the Brazilian Amazon. In some cases, P. geoffroanus is avoided for fear of causing allergic reactions. Its bright orange color suggests to some people that it is poisonous.

Chemical Composition and Validation of the Ethnopharmacological Reported Antimicrobial Activity of the Body Fat of Phrynops geoffroanus Used in Traditional Medicine (link)
Deforestation can cause increased nest predation by the Gold Tegu, Tupinambis teguxin. Although there is loss of native vegetation, in the area of ​​its distribution, and human consumption, there are no obvious threats that could lead the species to some degree of extinction risk.

Conservation:  Was classified in 2012 as less worrying in the new Scientific Assessment of the Risk of Extinction of the Brazilian Fauna. The main threat to this species is the destruction of their habitats. In many regions, the deforestation for raising cattle is causing the loss of nesting areas and nests due to trampling. Lizards also consume more eggs because deforestation has reduced the variety of food sources that they normally encounter.