Photo: Savvas Zotos

Balkan Terrapin

Mauremys rivulata

Class: Reptilia

Order: Chelonia

Family:  Geoemydidae 



Middle size turtle with a shell that reaches 30cm in bent length and 20cm in bent width. The carapace is rather low with an oval shape while females are larger in size than males. The shell has four lateral plates and 11 peripheral plates in each site. The carapace color is dark green to black. The neck and the limbs are dark grey to green-black and have light stripes.

Basic biology:


The species lives in healthy ecosystems of river, lakes and streams with rich waders vegetation and year-round presence of water. It is an omnivorous species that feeds both with frogs, tadpoles and fishes and with waders vegetation. Usually reproduction takes place during spring although in warm countries of middle east can be observed earlier. The species lay 4-6 elongated eggs in pits that the females open in the sand. Incubation lasts for 3-4 months.

Distribution at Cyprus:

Small populations of the species can be found in rivers in the area of Paphos and Nicosia.

Global distribution:

Balkan peninsula, Aegean islands, western Turkey, Cyprus, Middle east.


Not particular common to rare

Protection status:


Map of confirmed presence:

Download the distribution of the species (kml format, Google Earth)