Four-eyed Turtle

Four-eyed Turtle

Sacalia quadriocellata

About This Animal

SIZE: 5.6 in (14.3 cm)

RANGE: Southern China from Fujian to eastern Guangdong Province

HABITAT: Freshwater streams, brooks, and ponds in woodland, often mountainous habitats

DIET: In the wild, they feed upon carrion, snails, beetle larvae, earthworms, water plants and fruits

ON EXHIBIT:  Rivers of the World and Turtle Gallery in River Journey

Despite the name, these turtles do not have four eyes.  Instead, both males and females have eye spots or ocelli on the tops of their heads.  These markings are different for males and females.  This species is part of the Tennessee Aquarium’s Asian Turtle Breeding Program and has successfully reproduced here.

The four-eyed turtle is listed as Endangered by IUCN.Baby four-eyed turtles from previous years have been placed at other institutions accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The majority of the U.S. zoo population of these turtles is at the Tennessee Aquarium, the only institution in the nation currently breeding this endangered species. Raised conservation awareness and more effective law enforcement is required if the four-eyed turtle, and other freshwater turtles, are to survive.