Cycloderma aubryi

(Duméril, 1856)
Aubry's flapshell turtle

The oval carapace (to 55 cm) is brown with a narrow dark vertebral stripe, smooth and keelless in adults, but with a vertebral keel and numerous scattered tubercles in juveniles. The carapace is sculptured in front causing it to appear anteriorly protruding. No prenuchal bone is present. A preneural and a neural separate the 1st of the eight pairs of costals; the large 8th pair touch medially. There are seven or eight neurals in a continuous series. All carapacial bones are covered with fine granulations. The yellowish plastron has some faded brown blotches in the adult. Its seven plastral callosities are large and granulated, and cover most of the adult plastron. The epiplastra are large and half-moon shaped, and touch medially. The entoplastron is also quite large and the fused hyo-hypoplastra almost touch at the midline. Xiphiplastra are totally in contact at the midline. The skull is depressed with a long bony snout (longer than the greatest diameter of the orbit). The interorbital width is about 67% of the height of the orbit. The jugal does not enter the orbit. The mandible lacks a symphysial ridge and its ventral width is less than the diameter of the orbit. The head is brownish with five thin longitudinal lines: a medial one extending backward from the crown to the neck; two, one on each side of the medial line, extending from between the orbits to the back of the head; and two, one on each side, beginning at the nostril and extending backward through the orbit and along the side of the head to the neck. Chin and throat are yellow and speckled with brown; limbs are brown. Six or seven antebrachial scales occur on the upper surface of each forefoot. The hatchling has a carapace of about 55 mm, which is orangish to auburn with scattered black spots and a narrow brown vertebral stripe. Its plastron is yellow with a large V-shaped brown mark extending backward from the anterior apex. No plastral callosities occur in the young.
Males have longer, thicker tails than do females.

Cycloderma aubryi occurs in Africa in the Central African Republic, Gabon, Cabinda, Congo-Brazzaville, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Cycloderma aubryi is restricted to water bodies within rainforests.

Natural History

IUCN Red List Status (1996)
Not listed.