Morenia petersi

(Anderson, 1879)
Indian eyed turtle

The slightly domed carapace (to 20 cm) has a keel of low bulbous projections, and an unserrated posterior rim. Its cervical scute is broader than long (about 50% the width of the 1st marginal). Vertebrals 2-5 are broader than long; the 1st may be longer than broad. The second and fourth neural bones are enlarged and the eight pleurals are contiguous. The carapace is olive, dark brown, or black with greenish, cream, or yellow borders on the vertebrals and pleurals, and a pale medial stripe. In young individuals, each vertebral has a light-colored horseshoe-shaped mark with an open anterior end, and each pleural contains a pale ocellus near the marginal seam, but frequently these markings are lost with age. Each marginal has a pale vertical stripe. The hindlobe of the plastron is narrow and bears a posterior notch. The bridge is broader than the hindlobe is long, and the axillary and marginal scutes are large. The plastral formula is: abd > pect > hum > fem >< an > gul. The plastron is uniformly yellow, although dark blotches may occur on the bridge and undersides of some marginals. The head is not enlarged, but the snout is pointed and protruding. Dorsal and lateral surfaces of the head are covered with an enlarged scale but its posterior surface has numerous small scales. The head is olive with several yellow stripes on each side: one running laterally along the upper border passing over the orbit, a second below it running backward from the tip of the snout, and a third extending from the orbit backward to the neck. Several other short stripes may occur on the snout. Limbs exhibit a yellow margin; the tail is short.
Males are shorter and have slightly concave plastra, longer tails, and vents beyond the carapacial rim. Females are larger and higher domed, and have relatively shorter tails with the vent under the carapace.

Morenia petersi is known from northeastern India as far west as Bihar, and from Bangladesh.

Morenia petersi is semi-aquatic in slow-moving rivers, ponds, and swamps. It is omnivorous, eating aquatic plants, crustaceans, and fish.

Natural History
Mating takes place in the winter months with nesting in April or May. Two eggs (34.6-35.0 x 22 mm) comprise a clutch (Das, 1991).
Captives are omnivorous, eating plants, prawns and fish (Das, 1991).

IUCN Red List Status (1996)
Lower risk: near threatened.