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Pangshura sylhetensis, 046

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Pangshura sylhetensis Jerdon 1870 –
Assam Roofed Turtle

Indraneil Das1, Saibal Sengupta2, and Peter Praschag3

1Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation,
Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, 94300 Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia [[email protected]];
2Department of Zoology, Arya Vidyapeeth College, Guwahati 781 016, Assam, India
[[email protected]];
3Am Katzelbach 98, 8054 Graz, Austria [[email protected]]


Summary. – The Assam roofed turtle, Pangshura sylhetensis (Family Geoemydidae), is a small freshwater turtle (straight carapace length [CL] only to 185 mm), with thirteen pairs of marginals and a strikingly spiked vertebral keel. The species is strongly sexually dimorphic, with female CL to 185 mm and males to 97 mm. It occurs primarily in running waters in the hills of northeastern India and northeastern and southeastern Bangladesh, where it appears rare and localized. Little information exists on the biology of this species. It apparently nests between late October and February, corresponding with the cool, dry season, and produces clutches of ca. 6–12 eggs, hatchlings appearing mainly between March and April, at the beginning of the Southeast Monsoons. The species is threatened by logging of primary forests that causes siltation, capture for food and the pet trade, and incidental capture in fishing gear.

Distribution. – Bangladesh, India. Localized distributed in northeast India and northeastern and southeastern Bangladesh.

Synonymy. – Pangshura sylhetensis Jerdon 1870, Jerdonella sylhetensis, Kachuga sylhetensis, Kachuga (Pangshura) sylhetensis.

Subspecies. – None recognized.

Status. – IUCN 2010 Red List: Endangered (B1+2c) (assessed 2000); CITES: Appendix II; Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act: Schedule I.



Das, I., Sengupta, S., and Praschag, P. 2010. Pangshura sylhetensis Jerdon 1870 – Assam roofed turtle. In: Rhodin, A.G.J., Pritchard, P.C.H., van Dijk, P.P., Saumure, R.A., Buhlmann, K.A., Iverson, J.B., and Mittermeier, R.A. (Eds.). Conservation Biology of Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises: A Compilation Project of the IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group. Chelonian Research Monographs No. 5, pp. 046.1–046.6, doi:10.3854/crm.5.046.sylhetensis.v1.2010, //iucn-tftsg.org/cbftt/.


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Adult male Pangshura sylhetensis from Kulsi River, Kamrup District, Assam, India.
Photo by Indraneil Das.



Distribution of Pangshura sylhetensis in India and Bangladesh. Red points = museum and literature occurrence records based on Iverson (1992) plus more recent and authors’ data; green shading = projected distribution based on GIS-defined hydrologic unit compartments (HUCs) constructed around verified localities and then adding HUCs that connect known point localities in the same watershed or physiographic region, and similar habitats and elevations as verified HUCs (Buhlmann et al. 2009), and adjusted based on authors’ data.