Roti snake-necked turtle

A turtle with a neck that resembles… Yes, you guessed it, a snake!

H. Zell

Roti snake-necked turtle


A turtle with a neck that resembles… Yes, you guessed it, a snake!

90% disastrous population decline

Hailing from the small Indonesian island of Rote, it boasts a distinctive long neck that does not retract into its shell but bends to tuck alongside its body. This unique feature gives it a serpentine appearance derived from its common name.

This species prefers the tranquility of shallow inland waters, such as lakes and marshes, which provide ample opportunities for basking and foraging. These turtles are also known to inhabit the waterlogged rice fields that are common in the region, providing food and refuge. During the dry season, they often seek shelter behind boulders or within dense foliage to conserve moisture and escape the heat.

Unlike some other turtle species that might burrow into the mud or adopt a state of dormancy during unfavorable conditions, the Roti Island snake-necked turtle does not typically exhibit such behavior, even in the mangrove habitats that fringe their home island.

The survival of the Roti Island snake-necked turtle is under serious threat. Human activities such as agriculture and the deliberate setting of fires around lake edges destroy their habitat, directly killing many turtles and exposing those that survive to predators. Additionally, the exotic allure of this species has made it a prime target for the international pet trade. Despite a dramatic decline in their numbers, they still command high prices on the black market, which fuels continued poaching and illegal trade.


Population est.
East Timor
Lesser Sunda Is.

Anything we've missed?

Help us improve this page by suggesting edits. Glory never dies!

Suggest an edit

Get to know me

Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No