Golden headed turtle that is fascinating to watch.
- Extremely easy to keep.
- Medicines can be prepared from them.
Chinese Golden Box Turtle also called as golden headed turtle or yellow-margined box turtle is found largely in Taiwan. The top of its head is pale green in color. There is a bright yellow line running from the back of the eye to the back of the head.
Chinese Golden Box Turtle can be captive bred. New captives feel shy; but they can be easily tamed. They can be kept along with other kinds of box and water turtles. They can be accommodated in a big yard separated into three sectors. One sector must be surrounded by walls and heavily planted under the roof. The turtles spend their winter season in this sector. The second sector must be sunny, heavily planted and it is surrounded by a brick wall. The third sector is an artificially created pond where the turtles spend their summer.
Chinese golden box turtles are omnivorous. They eat fruits like bananas, strawberries, papaya and cantaloupe; and vegetables like corn, grated carrots and squash. They also prefer to eat frozen pinkies, earthworms, slugs, snails, mealworms, dry trout chow, and canned cat food. Cuttlebone, boiled and crushed eggshell, and crushed oyster shell which are rich in calcium can also be supplied to them.
Courtship occurs in land in the late spring and summer. Chinese Golden Box Turtle digs several holes for nesting which are about 4 inches deep. The female lays 1 – 3 eggs per clutch. Equal parts of vermiculite and water by weight are taken in a plastic shoe box with lid having some holes for ventilation. The eggs are kept in the box and incubated at a temperature of 28°C. The eggs are left undisturbed. After 68 to 85 days, hatchlings will emerge from the eggs. The hatchlings will be very energetic and attentive.
The hatchlings start feeding within 5 days. They are shifted to a 10 gallon aquarium which has about ½ inch depth of water. The aquarium should be fitted with a rock to climb and plastic plants to hide. Initially they are fed with bloodworms. Then they are supplied with canned cat food. The temperature of the aquarium should be kept at 28°C by means of a spotlight and under tank heating pad. At about six month, water depth should be about six inches. The water should be changed daily. The turtles should also be provided with a land area. After six months the turtles are shifted to a screened cage which is kept outdoors. There must be a shallow water dish in the cage for soaking and drinking. The cage should be misted two times everyday. Sphagnum moss is used in the cage which keeps the humidity up when misted daily.
Imported turtles may be heavily parasitized. Hence first they should be given extensive medical treatment. Chinese Box Golden Turtles are very fascinating to watch. If they are provided with the environment similar to the natural environment, they can be bred successfully. They are really effortless to keep and a pleasure to view.