Sacalia quadriocellata
Four-eyed Turtle

    • Habitat:
      Hill streams and brooks in tropical and subtropical evergreen forests
    • Threats:
      - Habitat destruction, degradation, and alteration
      - Intense collection for the pet trade
    • Conservation Efforts:
      - Captive breeding
      - Reintroduction projects
      - Field Surveys
      - Protected in the wild in China
      - Trade highly restricted and regulated in Vietnam
      - CITES Appendix II
    • Wild Population:
      - Decreasing
      - Estimated population reduction greater than 90%
      - Majority now reside in protected areas
    • Endangered Status:
      Critically Endangered

Fast Facts

Four-eyed Turtles are named for the four, distinct, eye-spots or ocelli on the top of the head. Each ocellus has a distinct black spot or “pupil”, in the center. These ocelli range in color including yellows, greens, and blues. Size, color, and pattern of the ocelli are very much linked to sexual dimorphism and age class. Yellow ocelli are most often seen in hatchling, juvenile, and female turtles. It is hypothesized that the eyespots may serve multiple purposes including defense against predators in the form of mimicry, and/or they can be for used for communication/courtship!

Species Snapshot