The eastern snake-necked turtle, Chelodina longicollis, occurs throughout south-eastern and eastern Australia. It is typically found in swamps, lakes, slow moving waterways, creeks and billabongs. Eastern snake-necked turtles may migrate overland during the summer months (December to February in Australia!) and they are often found wandering on overcast days during this time.
Nesting takes place in spring or early summer. Clutch size may be 8 to 24 eggs with an incubation time of 3 to 4 months. This species may hibernate in the wild in the winter months, but by the same token, they may still be active even under cool conditions. The body temperature of an active C. longicollis recorded in the field ranged between 23.7° C and 32.2° C, with a mean temperature of 27.3° C. The carapace may reach up to 300 mm in length with specimens averaging 200 mm.
Chelodina longicollis is the most commonly kept turtle in eastern Australia; it is generally shy but wil adapt quickly into captivity and is the easiest of all Australian species to maintain. Newly captured specimens will musk, emitting a strong smelling liquid as a means of defense. This, however, ceases as they settle into captivity.
Their diet in the wild includes frogs, tadpoles, small fish and crustaceans. In captivity they will feed on vitamin supplemented raw meat, small mice, fish, and dry puppy chow. They will also accept tinned dog food.