First report of melanism in Indian Flapshell Turtle Lissemys punctata (Bonnaterre, 1789) from a turtle trading market of West Bengal, India

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Ardhendu Das Mahapatra
Anweshan Patra
Sudipta Kumar Ghorai


The Indian flapshell turtle Lissemys punctata is a freshwater softshell turtle species distributed throughout Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan. Here, we report first observation of melanism in L. punctata among rescued turtles from a turtle trading market. Although L. punctata is under Schedule-I in the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 of India still it sold in open markets in different parts of West Bengal. A systematic market survey and study on community perception are needed to understand the dynamics and factors influencing turtle trading in West Bengal. Enforcement of laws and mass community awareness are suggested to stop illegal turtle trading and consumption.

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