Ethogram of Sacalia quadriocellata (Reptilia : Testudines : Geoemydidae) in captivity

Yu-xiang LIU, Jie WANG, Hai-tao SHI, Robert W. MURPHY, Mei-ling HONG, Bin HE, Jonathan J. FONG, Ji-chao WANG, Li-rong FU

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


To construct an ethogram of Sacalia quadriocellata and introduce coding system into chelonian behavior research for quantitative comparison, 15 captive S. quadriocellata (eight females and seven males) were observed for one year using a digital surveillance system, and an ethogram constructed. Fourteen types of states and 84 types of events were recorded. Seventy-five behaviors were defined and described, and these were classified into eight categories of behavior: Feeding, Elimination, Conflict, Alert, Rest, Locomotion, Courtship, and Other. Feeding, Elimination, and Locomotion are frequent behaviors, whereas Conflict and Other behaviors are seldom observed. Mainly, this may be caused by environmental conditions that eliminate these plastic behaviors (e.g., Conflict and Other behaviors) and keep the nonplastic behaviors (e.g., Feeding, Elimination, and Locomotion). Finally, the comparison between S. quadriocellata and other chelonian species indicate that the behavioral patterns are similar on the whole, but the Conflict behaviors of S. quadriocellata are milder than other species.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-325
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Herpetology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes


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