Cuora zhoui

Zhao, Zhou and Ye, in Zhao, 1990
Zhou's box turtle

The elliptical, moderately domed carapace (to 17.5 cm) has three low keels, and a smooth to slightly serrated posterior rim. It is widest behind the center, and the scute surfaces are smooth. All vertebrals are broader than long; the 1st is flared anteriorly and may extend to or beyond the seam separating the first two marginals, the 5th vertebral is flared posteriorly. The carapace is nearly uniformly black or dark brown, but may have some eroded yellowish areas. The plastron is large, almost completely covering the carapacial opening when closed. Its hindlobe is posteriorly notched, and the forelobe is slightly upturned anteriorly. The normal plastral formula is: pect > abd > an > gul > fem > hum; an interanal seam is present. The plastron is black with a medial yellowish figure; the bridge is black with a small yellow spot at the junction with the hinge; and the ventral surfaces of the marginals are black near the bridge, but have yellow pigment positioned anterolaterally on marginals 1-4 and 8-12. The narrow head has cream to yellow jaws, the upper of which is medially hooked. The dorsal surface of the head is brownish yellow, contrasting greatly with the dark pigmented shell. A dark-bordered yellow line runs between the nostril and orbit; the tympanum is cream to white. Limbs are olive -green to greenish gray. The forelimbs have salmon-colored pigment medially, and the hindlimbs have yellow ventrally with some salmon-pink near the bottom of the feet. The karyotype is unknown.
Males have slightly concave plastra, and longer, thicker tails with the vent beyond the posterior marginals. Females have flat plastra, and short tails with the vent beneath the posterior marginals.

Cuora zhoui has only been found in Guangxi and Yunnan provinces, China.

McCord and Iverson (1991) reported the species was collected near highland streams.

Geographic Variation and Natural History

This species includes Cuora pallidicephala McCord and Iverson, 1991.

IUCN Red List Status (1996)
Data deficient.