Monday, October 3, 2011

Philippine Forest Turtle

Siebenrockiella leytensis is a species of freshwaterturtle endemic to the PhilippinesIt is classified as It is known as the Philippine forest turtle, the Philippine pond turtle, the Palawan turtle, or the Leyte pond turtle. Despite the latter common name, it does not occur in the island of Leyte but is instead native to the Palawan island group.Philippine forest turtles are readily recognizable by their ginkco -shaped vertebral scutes and a pale white to yellow line traversing across its head behind the ears. The previous characteristic has earned it the nickname of 'bowtie turtle'.
Philippine forest turtles are classified under the subgenus Panyaenemys. Together with the smiling terrapin (siebenrockella cronillous), it is one of the two species in the genus siebenrockella.    Philippine forest turtles have brown to reddish brown to black carapaces that reach a length of 21 cm (8.3 in). Larger individuals can reach 30 cm (12 in) in length, though this is relatively rare. A dorsal ridge (the keel) is only present in the posterior vertebral scutes or absent altogether. The front margin of the carapace is slightly to strongly serrated, with the marginal scutes projecting beyond the cervical scutes. The vertebral scutes are broader than long.  

The Philippine Sailfin Lizard

           The Philippine Sailfin Lizard,Crested Lizard, Sail-fin Lizard, Sailfin Water Lizard, or Soa-soa Water Lizard (Hydrosaurus pustulatus) is an oviparous lizard living only in the Philippines.The Philippine sailfin Lizard is an excellent swimmer and has flattened toes that enable it to run across water. It is omnivirous, feeding on fruit, leaves, flowers, insects, and small animals . It lives near rivers in the tropical forests of the Philippines. Males have a larger crest on their back than the females. The males also show a violet color as they grow older. Females are less colorful.The Philippine sailfin lizard lives mainly beside water, e.g., rivers, riverbanks, rice-fields, etc., as these lizards love to swim. The adults may reach up to a metre in length. These lizards are found in the Philippine provinces such asLeyte, Negros, Panay Island, Samar and other nearby provinces.

              This is the largest member of family Agamidae of lizards native to many islands in the Philippines. They are usually found in woodland areas basking on trees, rocks and boulders never far from water edges. Large fins extending from along their bodies best characterize male sailfin lizards. Females are slightly shorter and the crest is absent. The Philippine Sailfin Lizard (Hydrosaurus pustulatus) is threatened throughout most of its remaining range by destruction of habitat and over-hunting for food and the live animal trade. The Biodiversity Conservation Centre of the Negros Forests and Ecological Foundation initiated a significant move to protect these lizards in Bacolod City. With funding support from Adelaide and Melbourne Zoos of Australia, the foundation designed a special sailfin lizard enclosure that will serve as the species breeding habitat.
           Philippine sailfin lizards were commonly available in the United States during the 1990s, but today they are now rare and expensive in the United States (costing about $900 for a captive bred juvenile). Breeding in captivity has only been done in a few cases.