Indian Tent Turtle


Pangshura tentoria

Common Names:

Indian Tent Turtle


Indian Tent Turtle

Kingdom  :   Animalia
Phylum  :    Chordata
Class  :
Order  :
Family  :    Geoemydidae
Genus  :    Pangshura
Species  :

Conservation Status:

IUCN :   Lower Risk/ least concern
   Schedule I
   Appendix II
   Not listed


The species is native to India, Nepal and Bangladesh, with three subspecies recorded from the region viz., P. t. tentoria, P. t. circumdata and P. t. flaviventer. P. t. tentoria occurs in peninsular India and is recorded from Orissa, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Assam and Madhya Pradesh. P. t. circumdata occurs in the western tributaries of Ganga and the rivers of Gujarat. It is found in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat. P. t. flaviventer occurs in the northern tributaries of Ganga and is recorded from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Assam.


Distribution map of Indian Tent Turtle (Source: Baruah et al., 2016)

Characteristics, Habitat and Behaviour:

The size of the carapace ranges from 20 cm to 26.5 cm depending upon the subspecies. The colour of the turtles also varies according to each subspecies. Subspecies tentoria has an olive or brownish head with a red postocular spot, the carapace is brown in colour with amber or hazel stripe in the first three vertebras and the plastron is yellow with black blotches. The head of subspecies circumdata is olive green with pink postocular spot; the carapace is brownish olive green in colour and with pink pleuro-marginal ring and the plastron is yellow with dark and large blotches. Subspecies flaviventer has a brownish olive colour head with pink patch behind the eyes, the carapace is brownish olive and the first three vertebras have a light-coloured stripe and the plastron is yellow and unpatterned. The males are smaller than the females in size and have longer and thicker tails. The tentoria subspecies have a moderately small and pointed head that is shorter than the orbit. Their carapace is oval and elevated with a distinct vertebral keel that is spiked and the plastron is truncated anteriorly and notched posteriorly.

Its habitats include still water pools on river side and slow running water near the river banks. These are active swimmers and are mainly herbivorous.

Major Threats:

  • Due to the attractive appearance of the species, they are illegally traded in the pet market.


Baruah, C., Devi, P., & Sharma, D. (2016). Comparative Morphometry and Biogeography of the Freshwater Turtles of Genus Pangshura (Testudines: Geoemydidae: Pangshura).

International Journal of Pure and Applied Zoology, 107-123.