Sunday, December 2, 2012

[Testudology • 2012] Observations on the feeding ecology of Indotestudo elongata (Blyth, 1853) in the wild in Cambodia and Vietnam



Observations on the feeding ecology of Indotestudo elongata (Blyth, 1853) in the wild in Cambodia and Vietnam

Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary in the Northern Plains of Cambodia
During the study in Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary, three of the ten tagged tortoises were observed several times to feed on live Quantula striata, a land snail species deciduous forests in Indochina and peninsular Malaysia. Another individual was observed once feeding on a heavily decomposed skull of Viverra cf. zibetha (Fig. 4).


Cat Tien National Park in Dong Nai Province, southern Vietnam
The scat from Cat Tien consisted of the remains of two Ricefield Crabs Somanniathelphusa spp. At the beginning of the wet season these crabs are abundant around the seasonal ponds and on the forest floor (Ng, 1988). It is unknown if the tortoises consume these crabs for their proteins or also as a source of calcium. From the remains of the crab it was also impossible to ascertain whether the crab in fact was captured or, most probable, merely the carcass was consumed. 

Thus, our observations suggest that food items consumed by I. elongata vary according to their seasonal availability.

Figure 1. Indotestudo elongata feeding on the snail species Quantula striata in the Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary in northern Cambodia. Photo: F.Ihlow.

Figure 4. Indotestudo elongata feeding on a skull of Viverra cf. zibetha in the Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary in northern Cambodia. Photo: F. Ihlow.


Flora Ihlow, Peter Geissler, Sothanin Sovath, Markus Handschuh and Wolfgang Böhme. 2012. Observations on the feeding ecology of Indotestudo elongata (Blyth, 1853) in the wild in Cambodia and Vietnam. Herpetology Notes. 5. 5-7. 

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