15 Species of Tortoises and Turtles Found in India

Turtles are fresh water and sea dwelling species and one of the oldest groups of reptiles in the world. Some of the species are comes under the endangered species of turtles in India, like Assam roofed turtle and Indian star tortoise are one of the most trafficked animals in the world and part of the exotic pet trade.


Indian Flapshell Turtle (Lissemys punctata)

Indian Flapshell turtles are most commonly found in lakes and rivers of India. The omnivorous freshwater turtles also found in the desert ponds of Rajasthan and introduced to the Andaman Islands.

Indian Roofed Turtle (Pangshura tecta)

Indian roofed turtle found in the major rivers of India and one of the most common pet in the Indian Subcontinent. They also occurs in brackish coastal waters, man-made water tanks,canals and ponds.

Assam Roofed Turtle (Pangshura sylhetensis)

Assam roofed turtle is a rare species of the turtle and listed as endangered in India, known only from a few individuals found in the Brahmaputra drainage in Assam.

Indian Softshell Turtle (Nilssonia gangetica)

Indian softshell turtle or Ganges softshell turtle found in the rivers of the Ganges, Indus and Mahanadi. The species considered sacred and also found in the temple ponds of Orissa.

Red Crowned Roofed Turtle (Batagur kachuga)

Red-crowned roofed turtle is a freshwater species of turtle and listed as critically endangered, only few hundred remain in the wild. The National Chambal Sanctuary is the India’s only protected riverine habitat for red crowned roofed turtle.

Indian Tent Turtle (Pangshura tentoria)

Indian Tent Turtle species found in India and Bangladesh. The omnivorous turtle spend most of the time in water and basking in the sun.

Black Pond Turtle (Geoclemys hamiltonii)

Black pond turtle or the Indian spotted turtle is a freshwater species and mostly found in Ganges River drainages of northeastern India.

Indian Eyed Turtle (Morenia petersi)

Indian eyed turtle is endemic to South Asia and found in northeastern India only classified as Vulnerable.

-Sea Turtle

Olive Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea)

Olive ridley sea turtles are the smallest of all sea turtles found in the world and living in warm waters of the Indian Oceans. Gahirmatha coast of Odisha is the largest mass nesting site for the olive ridley sea turtles in India.

Leatherback Sea Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)

Leatherback sea turtle is the largest of all living turtles in the world and nesting populations are known from the Nicobar Islands. Other sea turtles from Indian ocean are Loggerhead sea turtle, Hawksbill sea turtle and Green sea turtle.

Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas)

green sea turtle is a large sea turtle also found in the Indian Ocean and throughout entire Pacific region.

Hawksbill Sea Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata)

The hawksbill sea turtle is listed as critically endangered sea turtle found in tropical reefs of the Indian oceans.


Indian Star Tortoise (Geochelone elegans)

Indian star tortoise is the most popular species of tortoise as part of the exotic pet trade. The endangered tortoise are found in dry areas and scrub forest in India, also in the illegal wildlife trade in India as most trafficked wild animals along with monitor lizard, red sand boa and Indian pangolin.

Asian Forest Tortoise (Manouria emys)

Asian forest tortoise is endemic to Southeast Asia and one of the largest tortoise in mainland Asia that occurs in northeastern India.


Indian Pond Terrapin (Melanochelys trijuga)


Indian Pond Terrapin also known as Indian Black Turtle is a freshwater turtle, occurs in India and inhabits variety of water bodies. The Indian black turtle is the most common terrapin in India and found basking in the sun early morning and evening.

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