This striking medium sized freshwater turtle is recognised by their distinct colouring, they are known for their yellow markings on the underside of its shell, and tail, as well as a clear yellow stripe from the jaw, down to the neck of the shell. This species is predominately diurnal, often seen basking on logs, rocks or the riverbanks near deep pools, although nocturnal foraging in shallow areas has been observed. It is estimated that this turtle species will have a lifespan of approximately 20 years.
The Manning River helmeted turtle, is found only on the mid north coast of NSW. More particularly, they are restricted to the middle and upper stretches of the Manning River catchment area. They are found in relatively shallow, clear, continuously fast-flowing rivers with rocky and sandy substrates.
The species is omnivorous but lacks the ability to catch fast moving prey, instead foraging on the benthos for less mobile food such as other macro-invertebrates, terrestrial fruit and aquatic vegetation.
Little is known about the reproduction of this elusive species, but with the Australian Reptile Park’s new breeding program, it is hoped that more information will be discovered about their breeding behaviours.