Conservation Status

  • National: Endangered

Distribution and Habitat

  • Coral reefs, bays and estuaries
  • Tropical and warm temperate waters off the coast of Queensland, Northern Territory, Western Australia and New South Wales.


  • Mating starts late October
  • Peak - November to early December


  • Nest late October to early March
  • Peak late December
  • Southern Great Barrier Reef and adjacent mainland costal areas, including Bundaberg, Wreck Island, Erskine Island, Tryon Island, Wreck Rock beach and Pryce Cay.
  • Western Australia - Muiron Islands and Shark Bay.
© John Easley
  • Emerge late December to April
  • Peak - February to early March


  • 5 pairs (rarely 6) of large scales on each side (costal scales)
  • Carapace longer than wide
  • Colour red-brown to brown
  • Adult carapace approx. 1.0m


  • Carnivorous, feeding mostly on shellfish, crabs, sea urchins and jellyfish.
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