Distribution and morphological variation of Emys orbicularis in the coastal areas of the Caspian sea

Document Type : Research articles



The coastal areas of the Caspian Sea are geographically unique and provide habitats for
different flora and fauna. One of the remarkable inhabitants of this area is the European
pond turtle, Emys orbicularis (Linnaeus, 1758), about which very little is known. In our
study thirty seven (37) adult males of E. orbicularis have been identified in the Golestan,
Mazandaran, Ardebil, and East Azerbaijan Provinces of Iran and it appears they are
morphologically similar and belong to the same group. However, the turtles of Golestan
Province have the smallest size shell of the studied groups. This variation, compared to
other studied populations, may be explained by the differences in habitat and
geographical location.