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( - Monday, Jul 15, 2024

A stunning Asian Forest Tortoise (Manouria emys phayrei,) takes over as our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by user emysbreeder ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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News Briefs

Vans pulls misguided ad
(Cindy Steinle) - Wednesday, Jun 19, 2024

Over the weekend Vans dropped their new ad featuring their new Cult X Diamonback BMX shoes with a very emaciated ball python. The Reptile Community was outraged and rightfully so. The animal was in poor condition. By Tuesday however, I had a very hard time locating the advertisement anywhere other than social media sites. Rather than adding to the millions of shares, I instead reached out to Vans to inquire if they pulled it and if so to thank them. I also offered to arrange for them to get a photo shoot with an actual diamondback. Today when I clicked the link via email and anywhere else I could find that would directly link it to Vans and the original ad, this is what I saw.

They heard us loud and clear. While I don't expect Vans to know what a healthy snake looks like, I would expect their photographer and ad agency to know and to do better. I sincerely hope they hire a different team in the future and never use this one again. They heard us loud and clear. I'm quite sure it will be a few days before I hear back if ever, I am quite sure they have been inundated with messages from our community. I would love to see a statement from them. Hello Vans? Ya Got one?

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Featured Contributors
Thoughts on the Chinese Box Turtle
(Richard Bartlett) - Monday, Jun 10, 2024

Note the yellow temporal line on this adult Chinese Box Turtle

At this point in time it has become difficult and quite expensive for hobbyists to acquire Asian herps, turtles included. Even prior to importation difficulties, hatchlings of several turtle species in the genera Cuora and Cistoclemmys were being priced by breeders in the many hundreds and even thousands of dollars each. Today (2024) the prices of many taxa are even higher.

Fortunately though, a few of the species that can still be imported and/or that are easily bred remain almost affordable. One of these, long a favorite of hobbyists (me included) is Cuora flavomarginata and is known to most as the Chinese Box Turtle. The 3 subspecies are divided between China mainland, Taiwan, and Japan. The subspecies, all remarkably similar in external appearances, are C.f. flavomarginata from Taiwan, C.f. sinensis from southern mainland China and C. f. evelynae from Japan.

Like the American Box Turtles its carapace is highly domed and the turtle has a very functional plastral hinge. The carapace may vary in color from dirty olive to black, with the latter being the more common. There is a yellowish vertebral stripe and the marginal scutes are a combination of dark and light pigment. The skin atop the head and on the limbs and tail is a dark charcoal, occasionally with pale olive overtones, The crown is separated from the pinkish cheeks by a prominent yellow bar on each side. All colors are at their brightest when the turtle is in breeding condition. Both males and females attain a straight measure of 5” (rarely to 6”).The external differences between male and female C. flavomarginata are slight. Males have a broader (but not much longer) tail than females. When extended the male’s tail is almost triangular in shape.
Like many terrestrial turtle species, the Chinese Box Turtle is omnivorous. Moistened tortoise diet, canned pet food, fresh succulent fruit, insects and worms are all accepted eagerly by most captives.

Summarizing, the common name given this turtle is quite descriptive, although not brightly colored they are pretty, personable, longlived, and proving that they are easily kept, some of mine have been captive for 40+ years.
Continue reading "Thoughts on the Chinese Box Turtle"
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