The Reeves' (or coin) turtle is the Asian version of our spotted, bog, and wood turtles. For a long time listed in the genus Geoclemys, it is now referred to as Chinemys reevesii. They occur in southern China, through the Yangtze Valley down to Canton, and in Korea, Taiwan and Japan.

Reeves' turtle is a small semi-terrestrial, usually 4 - 5 inches long, but Pritchard reports that some may get to be well over a foot long and as much as 15 inches is possible. My females are the Japanese race, and are 7 - 8 inches long and still growing.

The carapace of a Reeves' turtle has three well defined keels from front to back. Most of the Japanese ones are brown or gray with a yellowish plastron with dark spots. The neck has several solid or broken curved yellow lines. We do have one very small all-black Reeves' turtle with black eyes who does not associate with any of the others. He usually sneaks into the water in the early evening, but mostly hides in our mondo-grass "forest" during the day.


During courtship the males pursue and swim around the females, tirelessly trying to rub snouts with them. When getting ready to lay their eggs, the females will back-in under low plants. Unless you look closely you will only see the plants shaking as they dig their nests. They lay clutches of 4 - 6 eggs, and the eggs hatch in about 90 days.

We incubate the eggs at about 85° F in sphagnum moss in margarine cups, with the lid on tight until they pip. Of course we don't always see the females lay, so we regularly get hatchlings popping up in the pond compound.