Areoles flat turtle

Flat turtles are a genus of Berger- neck turtles and belong to the family of tortoises. Its members include five species, all of which are native to southern Africa.


It is in these turtles are very small turtles with tank lengths of 7-17 cm. To her belongs with the sawed Flachschildkröte the smallest turtle ever. It is characteristic of this genus, that the carapace are relatively flat. Unlike many other species of tortoises, the shields are not smooth or even raised, but often have even a sunken center on. The turtles of this genus have paired scale and thickened Kehl shields. These are usually wider than long. In two of the species, H. areolatus and H. femoralis, both the front and hind legs have only four claws. From this derives also the scientific name, Homopus ( Gleichfuß ) from. The other three species have five claws on their front legs.


Two of the species, including the Sawed Flachschildkröte, are classified by the IUCN as endangered. So far, both the distribution, population density and reproduction rate of this species is considered not sufficiently studied scientifically. Among the causes that are potentially threatening existed for this species include loss of individuals due to traffic accidents, and the effects of climate change, overgrazing by domestic, mining and poaching for the pet trade.


The genus comprises five species of turtles flat. The fifth species was not described until 2007.

  • Areoles flat turtle ( Homopus areolatus ) ( Thunberg 1787)
  • Homopus boulengeri Duerden 1906
  • Homopus femoralis Boulenger 1888
  • Sawed Flachschildkröte ( Homopus signatus ) ( Schoepff 1801)
  • Homopus solus Branch 2007