This attractive Asian Box turtle has a number of common
names, such as Chinese Box Turtle, Yellow-Marginated,
Yellow-Rimmed, or Snail-eating Box Turtle. Its scientific
name is Cuora flavomarginata.
The Yellow-Marginated Box Turtle has not yet been
extensively studied in the wild, but it appears to be less
aquatic than the other Asian Box Turtles, and lives in both
tropical and temperate zones. Its natural habitat is along
the banks and in mountain to sea level streams in China,
Taiwan, and the Ryukyu Islands of Japan.
It has a high-arched dark brown carapace and usually one to
three dramatic stripes down the backbone. The head is
greenish to yellow, colors varying in different parts, with
a dark bordered wide yellowish stripe running from its eye
to its neck. The backside of the legs are also yellow. It is
a very striking turtle.
It is an omnivore and will eat basically the same food as is
correct for a Carolina Terrapin (North American Box Turtle),
although individuals may become attached to certain foods
and refuse all others. Earthworms, mealworms, crickets,
commercial turtle food, and some fruits and vegetables are a
It is important to provide these turtles with a basking
light and high humidity in the vivarium, as with most
turtles. Keeping damp sphagnum moss in the tank, covering
most of the top, and daily misting will usually do the
You will also need to provide a calcium source such as
cuttlebone, and sunlight or a good substitute to enable its
body to create the necessary vitamin D3.
Finally, be sure to buy your Asian turtle from a reputable
dealer. All Asian turtles are severely endangered in the
wild, and many are protected, so purchasing a wild-caught
turtle will be damaging the cause of many more turtles.
Also, all or nearly all wild-caught turtles have parasites
which may sicken or kill your pet, and even may spread to
kill many more turtles. Wild-caught turtles are also highly
stressed and it may be harder to tame them, or even
impossible in some cases.
Give your turtle what it really needs for health and you
will have an interesting and fun pet for many years - up to
50 years in some cases!