#622 - Chelodina (Macrodiremys) colliei - Southwestern Snake-necked Turtle
One of the reasons I’ve got so many species in my list of Perth wildlife is the simple fact that SW Australia is ridiculously species-diverse. The Southwest Australia Ecoregion is one of the world’s 34 Biodiversity Hotspots. And Perth itself does pretty well - it’s got 71 species of reptile within the city limits, which is a gigantic number for an urbanised area. This article at WWF has a few more details.
The Southwestern Snake-necked Turtle is a fairly common species - certainly doing better than the critically endangered Western Swamp Turtle which is ONLY found around Perth - but the taxonomic history is a bit complicated. For one thing it’s only recently been split off from the genus Chelodina, and its other common name Oblong Turtle is a holdover from confusion with the Northern Snake-necked Turtle, Chelodina oblonga.
Either way, the snake-necked turtles are carnivores that hide and then lunge at passing fish and invertebrates with a gape attack. Despite that, not at all aggressive, and will much prefer to flail helplessly if handled, rather than bite.
I found this one lumbering noisily through undergrowth near a small pond - they tend to wander in breeding season, which is bad news near roads.