Pelusios Sinuatus, the East African Serrated Side-Necked Turtle. With serrated in the name due to their jagged rear carapace (upper shell). Possibly the most colorful of all the African Turtles, they are more commonly known as just “Sinuatus” amongst turtle enthusiasts. Their tan shells are often speckled with black markings and their heads are peach to orange colored with lots of fine black/grey spots, and two white barbels on their chins. Like many colorful species, in a glass tank, their vibrant plastrons (bottom shells) catch your attention each time they head to the surface with their very sharply contrasted markings of oranges or yellows, and blacks and greys (see above photos).
In nature, Sinuatus are found in much of south east Africa from Somalia and Ethiopia, to Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda. Highly aquatic, Sinuatus are found in permanent rivers and lakes where they are often seen basking on emergent rocks and logs. Their diet is primarily carnivorous, but they will also eat aquatic plants and even fruit – ours love pellets and the occasional cut up fish.
Excellent beginner turtles, Sinuatus make as great additions to your home, and as larger adults, they are outstanding pond turtles in warmer months/climates where they eventually outgrow most predators.