Captive breeding of the Four-eyed Turtle (Sacalia quadriocellata)

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Asian Herpetological Research

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Zhongguo Kexueyuan Chengdu Shengwu Yanjiusuo


four-eyed turtle, Sacalia quadriocellata, captive breeding, hormone, stress, conservation


In 1998, a study on forty-five four-eyed turtles (Sacalia quadriocellata) was initiated to gather preliminary biological data of this species and to investigate the feasibility of its captive reproduction. In the following six years, no courtship behavior was found occurring in males and no oviposition in females. From 2004 to 2007, two successful techniques were applied to initiate reproductive behavior: 1) injecting exogenous reproductive hormones; and 2) reducing the stress of living in captivity. As a result of the hormone treatments, courtship behavior and copulation were observed during September and October, 2005. However, no courtship displays were seen from the CK males, which were not treated with hormones. Ovulation occurred between December and March, and the correlation was not significant between behavior of ovulation and food intake. Females laid only one clutch of eggs each year, with 2.47 eggs (n=34, range=1–4) at average, and 84 eggs were totally obtained, of which 13 were damaged, 52 were infertile and 19 fertile. Of the fertile eggs, nine were hatched with mean incubation period of 105.9 days (n=9, range=89–122 days) at temperature ranging from 24 to 27°C.



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He, B., Liu, Y., Shi, H., Zhang, J., Hu, M., Ma, Y,...Parham, F. J. (2010). Captive breeding of the Four-eyed Turtle (Sacalia quadriocellata). Asian Herpetological Research, 1(2), 111-117. doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1245.2010.00111