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Differentiating Cuora picturata from Cuora bourretii - Chris Tabaka DVM

 

Copyright 2006 World Chelonian Trust. All rights reserved

 

*Please note --  Cuora galbinifrons ssp has been split into three distinct species,  people researching these species should conduct searches on both the older versions of the names Cuora galbinifrons bourreti,  Cuora galbinifrons galbinifrons and Cuora galbinifrons picturata as well as the new names of Cuora bourreti,  Cuora galbinifrons and Cuora picturata.


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Cuora galbinifrons picturata  - Visual Determination of Subspecies

 

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One of the most frequent questions I receive is how to differentiate Cuora picturata from Cuora bourretiiWith similar plastronal markings as well as often subtle differences in conformation and even similar facial markings in older specimens, these two separate species can be confusing to tell apart.  The following set of pictures is the final key to differentiating the two species.

 

The key feature to tell the two apart lies in the shape of the pupil.  While it can be difficult to visualize the heads of reticent specimens, with time and patience (and maybe a few earthworms!), one is able to get a good look at the eyes.

 

The following picture is of a Cuora bourretii. Note the perfectly round pupil in this animal.  This is the key differentiating feature. 

Cuora bourretiiROUND pupil

Cuora picturata on the other hand, as noted in the two different specimens pictured below, always have an indistinct papillary shape.  It can vary from a squarish shape to an indistinctly round appearance but it ALWAYS lacks the perfectly round pattern of the Cuora bourretii (as well as the Cuora galbinifrons).

Cuora picturata- SQUARE/ODDLY SHAPED pupil

Cuora picturata- SQUARE/ODDLY SHAPED pupil

 

 

 


 

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