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Family: CHELIDAE

Rhinemys rufipes

Scientific Name: Rhinemys rufipes

Local Name: cágado vermelho.

South American: tortuga achiote.


English: Red Amazon Side-necked Turtle, William’s Toadhead Turtle. Red-footed Amazon Side-necked Turtle.

Length: Females reach 27cm while the males, on average, measure 20cm.

Appearance: The heads and limbs of this species are shades of red and pink. The carapace is dark brown and has a central keel. The head has three black stripes, running from the nose to the neck, one on top and two running through the eyes. The plastron is light yellow.

Behaviour: Nocturnal, they hide among vegetation during the day and do not bask. Little is known about the reproductive habits of this species. 

Habitat: In Brazil they occur throughout the Rio Negro basin and in the Trombetas and Tocatins tributaries. They live in forested black-water streams where there is a closed canopy.

Diet: Opportunistic omnivores.

Reproduction: até hoje nunca foi encontrado o ninho desta espécie, mas sabe-se que depositam cerca de 4 ovos por ninho. A desova ocorre mais de uma vez por ano.

Exploitation: This species is heavily exploited by tribes indiginous to Columbia, but rarely hunted in Brazil. Potentially this could be a an interesting species to keep in capivity, but 

Conservação: Population studies in Reserva Ducke indicate that this may be one of the most abundant South American freshwater turtles. 

Rhinemys rufipes