Sacalia bealei

(Gray, 1831b)
Beal's eyed turtle

Carapace (to 14.5 cm) with a low, medial keel, and all vertebrals broader than long. The carapace is yellow-brown to chocolate brown, and may be adorned with dark vermiculations. Plastron and bridge yellowish to light olive and may have a pattern of dark vermiculations. The plastral formula is abd > pect > an > fem > hum >< gul. The head is yellow brown or olive and finely spotted with black. Four ocelli are usually present on the back of the head with the anterior pair much less obvious than the posterior bright pair. The jaws are dark and the chin yellowish to pink. The neck is darker on top and light beneath. Three longitudinal yellow stripes extend backward from the head along the dorsal surface of the neck.
Males have concave plastra, longer, thicker tails with the vent beyond the carapacial rim, and greenish ocelli on the head. Females have flat plastra, shorter tails with the vent beneath the carapace, and yellow ocelli on the head.

Southern China from Fujian to eastern Guangdong Province.

Geographic Variation

Woodland streams and brooks.

Natural History
Courtship behavior has been described by Rödel (1985). Nicol's (1998) captive females did not dig nests, but laid their eggs in small depressions in the grass. A clutch consists of 2-3 hard-shelled, white 4 x 2 cm eggs (Nicol, 1998). Two eggs used by Gad (1994) to examine their ultrastructure measured 47 x 22 mm. Nicol's (1998) hatchlings measured 37 mm and weighed 8.6 g. Hatchlings have a uniformly light-brown carapace with a prominent keel and a serrated posterior rim; the plastron is peach-colored plastron with faint markings (Nicol, 1998).
Rödel's (1985) captives took dry shrimps, dead fish, snails, beetle larvae, earthworms, water plants, and different types of fruits, but preferred beef heart and bananas.

IUCN Red List Status (1996)
Vulnerable (B1+2c).