Species Data

Class: Reptilia

Order: Testudines

Family: Chelidae

Scientific Name: Hydromedusa maximiliani

IUCN Red List status: Vulnerable

IUCN Species Range Map



Brazilian Snake-necked turtles are one of the smallest species of freshwater turtle, with a long, snake-like neck protruding form a flat, grey or brown shell. The head and neck often show paler markings.



This turtle is endemic to south-eastern Brazil. As a resident of cold water upland streams, it is reliant on gaps in forest cover for basking.

Main image credit: Josh Henderson/flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0).

A Brazilian snake-necked Turtle stretched out on a log.
View of a mountain stream at REGUA, Brazil. Chris Knowles.


Freshwater rivers and streams with sandy or gravel bottoms, in areas of mountainous Atlantic forest.


Threats and Conservation

Loss of its Atlantic rainforest habitat through commercia logging and to make way for agricultural and urban expansion is the major factor driving declines. In addition, water pollution is a significant problem. Outside of protected areas, Brazilian Snake-necked turtles are extremely fragmented and vulnerable.


Protected by these WLT Projects



IUCN Red List