Heosemys leytensis

Taylor, 1920
Philippine pond turtle

The carapace (to 21 cm) is somewhat flattened and lacks a keel, or, if one is present, it is only on the posterior vertebrals. Vertebrals are broader than long. Anterior marginals are largest, projecting forward beyond the cervical over the sides of the neck making the anterior rim sharply serrated; posterior marginals are slightly serrated. The carapace is brown to reddish brown and unmarked. The plastron narrows both anteriorly and posteriorly, and is much smaller than the carapace. It is strongly notched posteriorly. Gulars are strongly projecting and contain a large angular notch between them. The plastral formula is: abd > pect > fem > gul > hum > an. The bridge is longer than the hindlobe of the plastron, and contains an axillary and an inguinal. Plastron and bridge are uniformly yellow to brown or reddish brown. The head appears large, and the snout is pointed and projecting. The eyes are small. The upper jaw is distinctly hooked and slightly bicuspid. Dorsally, the head skin is divided into scales. The head is brown with some darker mottling on the temple. A narrow yellow bar crosses the head just behind the tympanum where it passes downward toward the neck (this bar may be interrupted medially), and a small yellow spot may occur on each side of the lower jaw. The neck is dark brown on top but lighter on the sides and beneath. Limbs are darker brown anteriorly and lighter beneath. Each foreleg contains four enlarged transverse irregular scales on its upper surface, and a large transverse scale at the heel. Each hindlimb also has enlarged transverse scales on the anterior surface, but no large scales at the heel. All toes have heavy claws and webbing. Skin on the legs, body, and neck contains very small tubercles giving it a roughened appearance.
Sexual dimorphism has not been described.

There are only a few specimens of this rare species known, collected at Cabalian in southern Leyte and Palawan Province, Philippine Islands (Timmerman and Auth, 1988).

Natural History
The biology of this turtle is unknown.

IUCN Red List Status (1996)
Endangered (B1+2c); listed as Geoemyda leytensis.