Eastern snake-necked or Eastern long-necked turtle, chelodina longicollis
This individual was found at the western side of the reservoir, sunning itself in the shallows. These turtles are reputedly shy but this one seemed quite happy to stay in one place.
The ‘long neck’ part of the name is evident. The ‘ELN’ (eastern long neck) turns its neck sideways in against its body. It also approaches its prey with a sideways strike.
They’re carnivorous, eating water living invertebrates, tadpoles, frogs, crayfish and fish.
Native freshwater turtles can be distinguished from tortoises by their feet which are webbed and flipper- like, and the fact they live mainly in the water. There are no native tortoises in Australia.
They can live to at least 70 years of age.
ELNs are most active in the spring and summer. They can enter brumination, a period of torpor, when temperatures drop below a certain level.
Mating occurs in September/ October, following winter hibernation, and into early summer. Eggs are laid in summer, by moonlight. Females can breed when they’re 10 to 11 years of age and males at the age of 7.
A picture of a baby ELN turtle can be seen here, at the blog site, Eucalypt Habitat.
Whilst they are considered common in south eastern Australia, they face the threat of predation (turtle eggs are sought by foxes and lizards) as well as the impact of urbanisation (habitat loss or interference affecting nesting and hibernation, water levels and quality.)
Sources and other references
Eucalypt Habitat (30/11/09) Baby long-necked turtle http://eucalypthabitat.blogspot.com.au/2009/11/baby-long-necked-turtle.html
Host, B. M. (2006) Husbandry Manual for Eastern Snake Necked Turtle, Chelodina longicollis, Reptilia: Chelidae. http://nswfmpa.org/Husbandry%20Manuals/Published%20Manuals/Reptilia/Eastern%20Snake%20Necked%20Turtle.pdf
Kennett, R., Roe, J., Hodges, K., and Georges, A. (2009) Chelodina longicollis (Shaw 1784) – eastern long-necked turtle, common long-necked turtle, common snake-necked turtle. In: Rhodin, A.G.J., Pritchard, P.C.H., van Dijk, P.P., Saumure, R.A., Buhlmann, K.A., Iverson, J.B., and Mittermeier, R.A. (Eds.). Conservation Biology of Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises: A Compilation Project of the IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group. Chelonian Research Monographs No. 5, pp. 031.1-031.8,http://www.iucn-tftsg.org/chelodina-longicollis-031/
Latta, C. (n.d.) Turtle care sheets, Pilbara Pythons. http://www.pilbarapythons.com/turtlecaresheets.htm
Thomas, A. (2003) Turtle Recall, Scribbly Gum. http://www.abc.net.au/science/scribblygum/april2003/