African Mud Turtle

Animal File

Rivers and streams
Swamps & marshes
Common Name:
African Mud Turtle
Scientific Name:
Pelusios castaneus
Size: Up to 30cm
Conservation Status
Not evaluated

The West African mud turtle or West African side-necked turtle (Pelusios castaneus) is a part of the Pleurodia suborder of turtles, or the sideneck turtle group and are endemic to West Africa. This means they have the ability to draw their heads into their shells horizontally, tucking them in the space in front of one of their front legs.

The wild populations of these animals are coming under strain from the pet industry and from Asian food and medicine markets. 

Most of the African mud turtles at the Oceanarium have been rescued by the RSPCA in need of rehoming. They can grown up to 30cm making them unsuitable for most home aquariums. 


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