Ryukyu black-breasted leaf turtle

The Ryukyu black-breasted leaf turtle or Ryukyu leaf turtle, Geoemyda japonica, is a species of turtles in the family Geoemydidae (formerly Bataguridae) endemic to the Ryukyu Islands in Japan. In 1975, the species was designated a National Natural Monument of Japan.[2] It grows to about 5–6 inches long. In captivity, it feeds on worms, snails, insects, and fruit. Due to its rarity and very attractive appearance, this species is highly coveted by turtle collectors worldwide.

At first it was considered a subspecies of Geoemyda spengleri, and named Geoemyda spengleri japonica. It was redescribed as a separate species and given its current binomial name in 1992.[2]

Hybrids between different genera of Geoemydidae are rather commonplace. This species is known to hybridize with Cuora flavomarginata males in captivity and in the wild.[3]

Ryukyu black-breasted leaf turtle
Geoemyda japonica by OpenCage
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Suborder: Cryptodira
Family: Geoemydidae
Genus: Geoemyda
G. japonica
Binomial name
Geoemyda japonica
Fan, 1931
  • Geoemyda spengleri japonica Fan, 1931
  • Geoemyda japonica Yasukawa, Ota & Hikida, 1992
  • Geoemyda japonicus Joseph-Ouni, 2004


  1. ^ Fritz Uwe; Peter Havaš (2007). "Checklist of Chelonians of the World" (PDF). Vertebrate Zoology. 57 (2): 222. ISSN 1864-5755. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-12-17. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
  2. ^ a b Yasukawa, Yuichirou; Ota, Hidetoshi (2008-05-15). "Geoemyda Japonica Fan 1931 – Ryukyu Black-Breasted Leaf Turtle, Okinawa Black-Breasted Leaf Turtle" (PDF). Chelonian Research Monographs. Chelonian Research Foundation. 5 (5): 002.1–6. doi:10.3854/crm.5.002.japonica.v1.2008. ISSN 1088-7105. Retrieved 2008-11-23.
  3. ^ Buskirk et al. (2005).

External links

G. japonica

G. japonica may refer to:

Geoemyda japonica, the Ryukyu black-breasted leaf turtle or Ryukyu leaf turtle, a turtle species endemic to the Ryukyu Islands in Japan

Gleditsia japonica, the Japanese honey locust, a tree species in the genus Gleditsia

Gymnomacquartia japonica, a tachinid fly species

Gyrinicola japonica, a nematode parasite species


Geoemyda is a genus of freshwater turtles in the family Geoemydidae (formerly Bataguridae). It contains these species:

Ryukyu black-breasted leaf turtle, G. japonica

Black-breasted leaf turtle, G. spengleriGeoemyda was used as a "wastebin taxon" in former times, uniting a number of distinct lineages of forest turtles from East and Southeast Asia. These are now regarded as distinct and placed in the genera Heosemys, Leucocephalon, Melanochelys, Siebenrockiella (including Panayanemys), and Vijayachelys.

List of Natural Monuments of Japan (Okinawa)

This list is of the Natural Monuments of Japan within the Prefecture of Okinawa.

List of endangered reptiles

As of September 2016, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists 382 endangered reptile species. 7.4% of all evaluated reptile species are listed as endangered.

The IUCN also lists nine reptile subspecies as endangered.

Of the subpopulations of reptiles evaluated by the IUCN, one species subpopulation has been assessed as endangered.

For a species to be considered endangered by the IUCN it must meet certain quantitative criteria which are designed to classify taxa facing "a very high risk of exintction". An even higher risk is faced by critically endangered species, which meet the quantitative criteria for endangered species. Critically endangered reptiles are listed separately. There are 578 reptile species which are endangered or critically endangered.

Additionally 910 reptile species (18% of those evaluated) are listed as data deficient, meaning there is insufficient information for a full assessment of conservation status. As these species typically have small distributions and/or populations, they are intrinsically likely to be threatened, according to the IUCN. While the category of data deficient indicates that no assessment of extinction risk has been made for the taxa, the IUCN notes that it may be appropriate to give them "the same degree of attention as threatened taxa, at least until their status can be assessed."This is a complete list of endangered reptile species and subspecies evaluated by the IUCN. Species and subspecies which have endangered subpopulations (or stocks) are indicated.

Ryukyu Islands

The Ryukyu Islands (琉球諸島, Ryūkyū-shotō), also known as the Nansei Islands (南西諸島, Nansei-shotō, lit. "Southwest Islands") or the Ryukyu Arc (琉球弧, Ryūkyū-ko), are a chain of Japanese islands that stretch southwest from Kyushu to Taiwan: the Ōsumi, Tokara, Amami, Okinawa, and Sakishima Islands (further divided into the Miyako and Yaeyama Islands), with Yonaguni the westernmost. The larger are mostly high islands and the smaller mostly coral. The largest is Okinawa Island.

The climate of the islands ranges from humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) in the north to tropical rainforest climate (Köppen climate classification Af) in the south. Precipitation is very high and is affected by the rainy season and typhoons. Except the outlying Daitō Islands, the island chain has two major geologic boundaries, the Tokara Strait (between the Tokara and Amami Islands) and the Kerama Gap (between the Okinawa and Miyako Islands). The islands beyond the Tokara Strait are characterized by their coral reefs.

The Ōsumi and Tokara Islands, the northernmost of the islands, fall under the cultural sphere of the Kyushu region of Japan; the people are ethnically Japanese and speak a variation of the Kagoshima dialect of Japanese. The Amami, Okinawa, Miyako, and Yaeyama Islands have a native population collectively called the Ryukyuan people, named for the former Ryukyu Kingdom that ruled them. The varied Ryukyuan languages are traditionally spoken on these islands, and the major islands have their own distinct languages. In modern times, the Japanese language is the primary language of the islands, with the Okinawan Japanese dialect prevalently spoken. The outlying Daitō Islands were uninhabited until the Meiji period, when their development was started mainly by people from the Izu Islands south of Tokyo, with the people there speaking the Hachijō language.

Administratively, the islands are divided into Kagoshima Prefecture (specifically the islands administered by Kagoshima District, Kumage Subprefecture/District, and Ōshima Subprefecture/District) in the north and Okinawa Prefecture in the south, with the divide between the Amami and Okinawa Islands, with the Daitō Islands part of Okinawa Prefecture. The northern (Kagoshima) islands are collectively called the Satsunan Islands, while the southern part of the chain (Okinawa Prefecture) are called the Ryukyu Islands in Chinese.

Wildlife of Japan

The wildlife of Japan includes its flora, fauna and natural habitats. The islands of Japan stretch a long distance from north to south and cover a wide range of climatic zones. This results in a high diversity of wildlife despite Japan's isolation from the mainland of Asia. In the north of the country, north of Blakiston's Line, there are many subarctic species which have colonized Japan from the north. In the south there are south-east Asian species, typical of tropical regions. Between these areas lies the temperate zone which shares many species with China and Korea. Japan also has many endemic species that are found nowhere else in the world.


Yanbaru (山原) is the Okinawan and Kunigami name given to the forested northern part of Okinawa Island in Japan. Spanning the northern villages of Higashi, Kunigami, and Ōgimi, Yanbaru contains some of the last large surviving tracts of subtropical rainforest in Asia, with many endemic species of flora and fauna. Many southerners fled to the area for refuge during the Battle of Okinawa. In 2016, Yanbaru National Park was established and the area was included in a submission for inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List.Yanbaru currently contains the 7,500 ha US Jungle Warfare Training Centre at Camp Gonsalves. As of 2010 there were twenty-two helipads in the training area with a further seven planned within two of the best preserved areas. Issues relating to the location of helipads delayed the designation as a National Park. Threatened by clearcutting and the removal of undergrowth, various endemic species are facing an imminent extinction crisis. The US Marine Corps has noted that 'to continue to perform realistic military training activities, these habitats must be maintained.'

Turtle family Geoemydidae
Extant turtle taxonomy


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