Wild life and nature of Samos, Ikaria & Fournoi

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Reptiles & amphibians

Balkan terrapin (Mauremys rivulata)


This species is a medium-sized freshwater turtle with a carapace length of 24 cm in females and 18.5 cm in males. An aquatic species, the Balkan terrapin will bask on land, but when it senses danger will quickly disappear into the water. The head, neck and limbs have yellowish stripes. The carapace is dark brown or olive green and the head of this species is covered with a tough, leather-like skin.


Found in Mediterranean forests, woodlands and scrubs, this species is associated with wetland habitats throughout Greece.


Juveniles eat small aquatic animals including invertebrates, fish and tadpoles, while adults eat mainly vegetation.

Protection status

This species is listed as “Least Concern” by IUCN Red List.

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