The Fabulous Flavomarginata

Turtlepete

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About a week ago, I received a trio of adult Cuora Flavomarginata, in a sort of joint project with @CharlieM. These are very LTC animals, all originally WC. They are absolutely incredible animals to work with. Very inquisitive and intelligent. Very beautiful animals that I figure some may appreciate seeing.

Here is the male. He is the biggest among them, and is missing part of his front marginal scutes, damage that I am told occurred prior to the original owners acquisition of him. It looks to be the result of male to male combat, or courtship.

Havin' a soak, right after they arrived.

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Quite possibly the most photogenic turtles…

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An overhead shot. Note the damage to the anterior marginals.

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Among the two females, one has a wider and much flatter shell. I suspect this may be geographical variation, since the other female and the male are both very highly domed. She has some old damage across her shell. I have seen the same marks on smaller wild-collected forstenii, and discussing this with the original keeper, we believe it is likely damage suffered during collection. The original owner believed it was consistent with dog tooth marks, and believed they may use dogs for collecting. I'm unsure of the validity of it, but it's a plausible theory.

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Something about being confronted with a camera makes these guys sprawl out and stare….:)

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And here is the other female. While slightly smaller then the other two, she is a beautiful specimen, without a single flaw.

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Turtlepete

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I see that, despite my efforts to reduce the size, the pictures still come through enormously sized. Whoops...:rolleyes:
 

CharlieM

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Great photos. Glad they are with you and so far enjoying Florida.
 

harris

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Excellent pics!! And they are gorgeous! I've always been enamored with these guys. Well, anything Cuora really.
 

Anthony P

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Swamps, bogs, and vernal pools
YES!!!!!!!!!

They look amazing. The second female especially. I can't remember if you mentioned when we were exchanging emails, but are these proven? Have they laid any eggs at all? If not, do you think they're close to laying?

Good luck with them, Pete. I'm pulling for you!
 

Turtlepete

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Hmm…

One female is behind the fern digging a pretty deep hole. I'm too scared to get too close and disturb her, so will have to wait a few hours to excavate the nest. She could be digging a test hole, but it looks to be very deep, and the soil in the enclosure was amended to a mixture of top soil and peat moss with leaf mulch on the surface, so it's very soft and should form an excellent nest. She should be pleased enough to deposit her eggs.

Fingers crossed.
 

CharlieM

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@Anthony P Last year I was searching for different Cuora and settled on keeping Flavomarginata.
I was contacted by a keeper who had a large collection and offered me an adult trio. I of course agreed.
Shortly after I agreed my business changed and I was slammed at work. Winter was fast approaching and both of us kept putting off shipping. Originally I had been searching for young ones to add to the few I have and I wasn't totally prepared to house three adults. I knew @Turtlepete was also working with these and lived near me. He has more experience, time and space. It seemed logical to send them directly to him on a breeding loan/partnership. He's done an outstanding job and I couldn't be any happier. He's excited to have them as well.
 

Turtlepete

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In true turtle fashion, once she finished covering the nest, the female stomped directly over to the water bowl and dunked her head in to take a nice long drink, then proceeded to take a long soak. This is common since they may pee on the soil during nesting to soften it and then need to rehydrate afterwards.

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I waited for her to finish her soak and retreat to the hide, then I went digging for the eggs.

If I hadn't been watching her, I would have never found the nest. I guess these guys share the same characteristics of NA boxies, in that they meticulously cover their tracks and their nest, replacing every leaf and stick.

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An unsuspecting mound of leaves….There was at least two-three inches of leaves covering the soil, which she must have scraped all of away before proceeding to make a very small egg chamber, and then replaced all of the leaf litter to cover it.

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Only two eggs, but hopefully there will be more clutches to follow.

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This is a TSD species, so I have them set up at 83-84 to produce females. I plan to incubate the next clutch, or at least a few eggs in total, to produce males.
 

Anthony P

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Wow! That's great!

And kudos to @CharlieM for doing what was right with his animals, as opposed to hanging on to them longer than he should. I think our own selfish wants can make us want to hang on to such things too long, only unload them after the animals are neglected for a while.

This is a great story, and both of you guys should be proud to be a part of it. Congrats, guys.
 

Turtlepete

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No more eggs from them yet. Both females could lay several more clutches this year I believe, but its difficult to say.

Some recent photos.

If you ask them, ferns are probably just about the best thing ever.

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Dirty nose ;). These guys love to completely bury themselves. They burrow completely into the loose top soil/peat moss mixture, with several inches of leaf mulch cover on top of them. All you can see is a little tunnel in the leaf mulch where the head pops in and out. Pretty cool!

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It is difficult to tell from the photo, but I find it interesting that the male has a much higher domed shell, a larger, wider head, and much thicker forelegs.

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Both eggs from my last post are developing perfectly, so hopefully they will produce two healthy hatchlings within the next few months...
 

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