Eastern Longneck Turtle
Sl1872 c longicollis
Physical description
Binomial nameChelodina longicollis
Lifespan100 years
Average Size22 cm
Average weight2.0 kgs
Conservational Status
IUCN statusIUCN 3.1
Scientific classification
SpeciesC. C. longicollis
Distribution of speciesSouth Australia, Victoria, NSW and Queensland, Australia

The eastern long-necked turtle (Chelodina longicollis Shaw, 1794)[1],[2] also known as the eastern snake-necked turtle, common snake-necked turtle or common long-necked turtle[3][4], has as its most distinctive feature its extremely long neck. In some cases, this turtle's neck can be as long as its carapace. It is a type of side-necked turtle, meaning that it bends its head sideways into its shell rather than pulling it directly back.

The eastern long-necked turtle also has powerful webbed feet for swimming, digging, and tearing apart prey. Its carapace (shell) is flattened, broad, and brown with black-edged scutes. On the underside plates (plastron) there are distinctive black lines or seams.

These turtles are found in the inland slow-moving freshwater habitats such as swamps, dams, and lakes of Australia, from northern Queensland to South Australia. They prefer a soft, sandy bottom and will bask on logs or rocks during the day.

When it feels threatened, this turtle will emit an offensive smelling fluid from its musk glands. This trait gives the turtle one of its other common names, "stinker."

The eastern long-necked turtle is carnivorous, eating a variety of animals. This includes insects, worms, tadpoles, frogs, small fish, crustaceans, and molluscs.

In early summer, the female will lay between 2 and 10 eggs in the banks of her aquatic habitat. Three to five months later the hatchlings break out of their shells. These young turtles often fall prey to predators such as fish and birds. Females will lay 1 to 3 clutches of eggs per year.


  1. Shaw, G. 1794. Zoology of New Holland. Vol 1. Davis, London. 33pp.
  2. Kennett, R and Georges, A. 1990 Habitat utilization and its relationship to growth and reproduction of the eastern long-necked turtle, Chelodina longicollis (Testudinata: Chelidae), from Australia. Herpetologica, 46, 1, 1990. 22-33.
  3. Kennett, R., Roe, J., Hodges, K., and Georges, A. 2009. Chelodina longicollis (Shaw 1794) Eastern Long-Necked Turtle, Common Long-Necked Turtle, Common Snake-Neck Turtle. Chelonian Research Monographs. 5.31.
  4. Anders G.J. Rhodin, Peter Paul van Dijk, John B. Iverson, and H. Bradley Shaffer. 2010. Turtles of the World, 2010 Update: Annotated Checklist of Taxonomy, Synonymy, Distribution, and Conservation Status

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