Kachuga trivittata

(Duméril and Bibron, 1835)
Burmese roofed turtle

This is the largest Kachuga, with a record carapace length of 58 cm. Its elliptical carapace is widest behind the middle and is somewhat arched. A medial keel is present with posterior projections on the first three vertebrals. This keel becomes lower and more blunt with age. Vertebrals 1-3 are as broad as or slightly broader than long, 4 is longer than broad, and 5 is distinctly broader than long. The posterior marginal rim is smooth in adults but somewhat serrated in juveniles. This species shows sexual dichromatism in respect to the carapacial pattern: males have brown to olive carapaces with three distinct black stripes which may be united at the ends; females have uniformly brown carapaces. The plastron is long and narrow; both the anterior and posterior lobes are shorter than the broad bridge. A posterior anal notch is present. The humero-pectoral seam joins the plastral midseam at an obtuse angle. The plastral formula is: abd > fem > < pect > an > gul. On the bridge, the inguinal scute is much larger than the axillary. Plastron and bridge are yellow to orange. The head is moderate in size with a slightly projecting snout and a medially notched upper jaw. Laterally, the jaws are slightly serrated. Skin on the back of the head is broken into scales. Head and neck are brown to olive; a large black streak is present on top of the head, and the jaws are lighter in color. Other soft parts are yellowish brown. Transverse platelike scales occur on the anterior surface of the forelegs and at the heel on the hind feet.
K. trivittata has 52 chromosomes (DeSmet, 1978; Bickham and Carr, 1983).
Females achieve a larger size than do males, which only reach 46 cm. Males have long, thick tails with the vent beyond the carapacial rim; the tail of females is shorter with the vent under the carapace.

Kachuga trivittata is found in the Irrawaddy, Sittang and Salween river systems of Myanmar.

Adults are generally inhabitants of large, deep rivers.

Natural History
Smith (1931) reported that nesting occurs in December and January in sandbanks above the tidal limits. A typical clutch includes about 25 elongated (70-75 x 40-42 mm) whitish eggs.
Kachuga trivittata is probably herbivorous.

IUCN Red List Status (1996)
Endangered (A1c).