Snake-neck turtle
Chelidae - Chelodina longicollis

What does it look like?

Endemic to Queensland, snake-neck turtles are a semi-aquatic species, preferring slow moving water such as wetlands, lakes, dams and ponds. They are less common but can also be found in streams, rivers and urban environments. The species prefers to forage in cooler temperatures, so is more active at night.

Relatively ''medium-sized turtles, the species grows to an average length of 25cm.  They have a light brown to black oval shell, with a shallow groove in the middle. The underside of the shell is cream-coloured with dark seams. As their name would suggest, their necks are long and narrow, with a brown to grey upper surface and yellow underneath.

Females are slightly larger than males. Juveniles tend to be black to dark grey with an orange stripe down either side of the neck and jaw, and they also have orange spots on the chest.


Why is it a problem?

This species is a generalist feeder, consuming fish, tadpoles, hatchling turtles, worms and crickets. Left uncontrolled and high numbers occur in a particular area, this can have negative effects on the water quality of a stream or river, as vital components of the food chain and environment are missing as a result. This can present itself in the form of poor water quality, which in turn further impacts native species while also making a stream or river unsuitable for use.