Chinese Golden Thread

By Wu-Gwei



Ocadia sinensis


Male   6" - 8"            Female   10" - 12"


An omnivorous turtle, but hatchlings and males tend to be more carnivorous feeding on insects, larvae, worms, crustaceans, and carrion, but will take in variety of water vegetation.

Females and older turtles will be primarily herbivorous.


Air Temperature:  Low to mid 80s F

Basking Temperature:  Mid 80s F to mid 90s F

Water Temperature: Mid 70s F to mid 80s F


Slow-moving creeks, swamps, ponds, lakes, and rivers at low elevations. Ocadia sinensis can tolerate a wide range of temperatures from the cooler northern ranges of China and Taiwan to the hot tropical regions of Southeast Asia.



Taiwan, southern coastal provinces of China including Hainan Island, Northern Vietnam and parts of Laos



Could be.

Captive-bred specimens usually acclimate readily to proper enclosures and be fairly parasite-free. Imported wild-caught Chinese Golden Threads require deparasitization which may be outside the newcomer’s experience or desire and must consult a reptile veterinarian


An enthusiastic basking turtle that often spends most of the day basking. A heat lamp and UVB light source are essential. A submersible heater is recommended, but they can withstand cool temperatures when kept in an outdoor pond. It is recommended that they be over-wintered indoors. Some specimens may hibernate as well, but it is not recommended.


For adult males, a minimum 55 gallon tank or larger, while females should have at least a 75 gallon tank. They are reasonably good swimmers and the water should be fairly deep, albeit with driftwood or other ‘tank furniture’ to provide resting areas near the surface. Ocadia sinensis are excellent turtles for ponds habitats and easy to care for


Hatchlings will feed on insects, worms, dried shrimp, dried fish, turtle/fish pellets and water vegetation. Adults tend to be more herbivorous and will take in Anacharis, water lettuce, duckweed, other aquatic plants and varied leafy greens such as dandelions, romaine lettuce, kale, collards greens and etc. Always keep leafy greens or aquatic vegetation in the tank and feed turtle pellets sparingly two or three times a week to adults.


Ocadia sinensis is usually a non-aggressive turtle and generally do well with other Asian species that require similar needs. That said, there is never a guarantee of any two turtles getting along.


A hardy turtle and a prolific breeder. However, many imported wild-caught specimens have nicks and pitting from shell rot and/or fungus. Due to the stresses of transit in bad conditions, wild-caught turtles may arrive dehydrated and stressed, making examining the prospective purchase or dealing with a trusted vendor necessary. Deparasitization is a must for wild-caught Chinese Golden Threads, while captive bred specimens are fairly easy to care for similarly to other basking species (cooters, sliders and painted turtles). However, mixing species from distant geographical regions is discouraged since it will increase the likelihood of exposing new diseases.

Hatchlings are highly attractive with light grey/green carapace and orange/yellow discontinuous stripes on the three keels. The striking long-tailed hatchlings, are active and popular pet turtles in Asia comparable to the popularity and availability of the Red Eared Slider (RES) of North America.