Chitra indica

Narrow-headed soft-shelled Turtle Chitra indica is a species of turtle found in the major rivers of India and Pakistan.

Diagnostic characters

  1. Overall color: olive to deep olive-green;
  2. Very complex midline (vertebral) carapacial pattern;
  3. Midline (vertebral) carapacial stripe present;
  4. Complex radiating costal stripes;
  5. Paramedian neck stripes forming a bell-like pattern on anterior carapace absent;
  6. Neck stripes do not form a continuous light rim around carapace;
  7. No distinct pair of neck stripes;
  8. Dark speckling on "light" (head and neck) stripes;
  9. Anterior neck "V" divergence point on neck;
  10. 3-4 forelimb lamellae;
  11. No peri-orbital X pattern;
  12. No distinct peri-orbital ocelli;
  13. No distinct naso-orbital triangular "figure";
  14. Few, if any, black dots present on chin pattern.

Type locality: "India, fl. Ganges, Penang"; restricted by Smith (1931:162) to "Fatehgarh, Ganges," India = "India: Ganges; Futtaghur" (Gray 1864: 92)


Ganges, Godavari, Mahanadi, Sutlaj, Indus) Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh.


  • Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is endangered and the criteria used
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1889 Catalogue of the Chelonians, Rhynchocephalians, and Crocodiles in the British Museum (Natural History). British Museum, London, 311 pp.
  • Engstrom, Tag N., H. Bradley Shaffer, and William P. McCord. 2002 Phylogenetic Diversity of Endangered and Critically Endangered Southeast Asian Softshell Turtles (TrionychidaChitra). Biological Conservation 104 (2):173-179
  • Gray, J. E. 1831 A synopsis of the species of Class Reptilia. In: Griffith, E & E. Pidgeon: The animal kingdom arranged in conformity with its organisation by the Baron Cuvier with additional descriptions of all the species hither named, and of many before noticed [Vol. 9]. Whittaker, Treacher and Co., London: 481 + 110 pp.
  • Gray, J. E. 1831 Synopsis Reptilium or short descriptions of the species of reptiles. Part I: Cataphracta, tortoises, crocodiles, and enaliosaurians. Treuttel, Wurz & Co., London, 85 pp.
  • Gray, J.E. 1844 Catalogue of Tortoises, Crocodilians, and Amphisbaenians in the Collection of the British Museum. British Museum (Natural History), London. viii + 80 p.
  • Gray, J. E. 1864 Revision of the species of Trionychidae found in Asia and Africa, with descriptions of some new species. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1864: 76-98
  • Webb, R.G. 1980 Gray, Hardwicke, Buchanan-Hamilton, and drawings of Indian softshell turtles (Family Trionychidae). Amphibia-Reptilia 1: 61-74.

External links

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