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Title: Terrapin  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Lakefield College School, HMS Terrapin (P323), Anapsid, Protected areas of West Bengal, Daly River, Northern Territory
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Terrapin is a term used in English for several smaller species of turtle living in fresh or brackish water. Terrapins do not form a taxonomic unit, and may not be very closely related, although many belong to the families Geoemydidae and Emydidae. A distinction between turtle and terrapin does not exist in other European languages. The name "terrapin" is derived from the Algonquian word torope,[1] used for Malaclemys terrapin. In the UK red-eared sliders are known as "red-eared terrapins".[2]


Turtle species with "terrapin" in their common names include:

  • Diamondback terrapin or just "terrapin" Malaclemys terrapin, a turtle of the Emydidae family, native to the US
  • European pond terrapin or European pond turtle, Emys orbicularis, a turtle in the family Emydidae found in southern Europe, West Asia and parts of North Africa
  • Mexican spotted terrapin or Mexican spotted wood turtle Rhinoclemmys rubida, a species of turtle in the family Geoemydidae, endemic to Mexico
  • Painted terrapin Batagur borneoensis, a turtle in the Geoemydidae family native to Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand
  • Northern river terrapin Batagur baska, a critically endangered turtle in the Geoemydidae family native to Cambodia
  • Southern river terrapin Batagur affinis, a turtle in the Geoemydidae family native to Cambodia
  • Smiling terrapin or Black marsh turtle, Siebenrockiella crassicollis, a turtle in the Geoemydidae family native to Southeast Asia
  • Seychelles black terrapin Pelusios seychellensis, an extinct species of turtle in the Pelomedusidae family that was endemic to Seychelles
  • Serrated hinged terrapin Pelusios sinuatus is a species of turtle in the Pelomedusidae family found in southern Africa
  • Striped-neck terrapin or Caspian turtle Mauremys caspica, a turtle in the family Geoemydidae (Bataguridae), native to the eastern Mediterranean region
  • Bengal eyed terrapin, Burmese eyed turtle or Burmese peacock turtle Morenia ocellata, a turtle in the family Geoemydidae found in Burma and possibly Yunnan, China
  • Indian pond terrapin or Indian black turtle Melanochelys trijuga, a turtle in the family Geoemydidae found in South Asia


  1. ^ "Terrapin" at
  2. ^ Wildlife of Britain. The definitive visual guide. Doring Kindersley. 2008. p. 168.  
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