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German wasp | Vespula germanica

German wasp

Vespula germanica

Coral bush | Ardisia crenata

Coral bush

Ardisia crenata

Purple loosestrife | Lythrum salicaria

Purple loosestrife

Lythrum salicaria

Pom pom weed | Campuloclinium macrocephalum

Pom pom weed

Campuloclinium macrocephalum

Canarybird bush | Crotalaria agatiflora

Canarybird bush

Crotalaria agatiflora

Peanut butter cassia | Senna didymobotrya

Peanut butter cassia

Senna didymobotrya

Rubber vine | Cryptostegia grandiflora

Rubber vine

Cryptostegia grandiflora

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Environmental Programmes

In order to tackle our country’s socio-economic challenges, the government adopted the Outcomes based approach to improve government performance and providing focus on service delivery. find out more

Chinese soft-shell terrapins

Pelodiscus sinensis

Common name:

Chinese soft-shell terrapins

Scientific name:

Pelodiscus sinensis

Alternative common names:

Chinese soft-shell turtle, Asiatic soft-shell. 

The Chinese soft-shelled turtle is well adapted to aquatic environments, including brackish swamps and marshes. These turtles are predominantly carnivorous and the remains of fish, crustaceans, mollusks, insects, and seeds of marsh plants have been found in their stomachs.

Additional Info

  • Where does this species come from?

    Southern China, Russia, Japan, Korea and Vietnam.

    What is its invasive status in South Africa?

    NEMBA-Category 1b

    Where in South Africa is it a problem?

    KwaZulu-Natal Province.

    How does it spread?

    Spread via pet trade. However, many specimens found could be turtles escaped from cultivation.

    Why is it a problem?

    Unknown; but the potential for this highly carnivorous turtle to have a negative impact on indigenous aquatic fauna in various region of introduction seems likely, if it has not occurred already.

    What does it look like?

    Description: Colour olive grey to greenish brown with numerous yellow-bordered black spots and yellowish dots in younger individuals; yellow spotting tends to disappear in adults; many adults show no pattern and have uniformly olive carapaces. It has round to oval carapace; ridge of carapace in males slightly sunken with round-shape at posterior; longer neck and tail than females; plastron sunken for clasping female carapace during copulation; neck can be extended to end of carapace; more active than females. Shell of females rough with oval carapace; plastron almost arched; tail and neck is thicker than male; space between two posterior legs larger than male; more timorous and meek than males. Generally, males differ from females in being shallower and having long, thick tails, with the vent near the tip. Females are more domed and the tails barely extend past the carapace rim. Females are normally larger than males, to allow for egg development. Habitat: It is usually found in rivers, lakes, ponds, canals, and creeks with slow currents and also occurs in marshes and drainage ditches. Breeding: These turtles reach sexual maturity sometime between 4 and 6 years of age. They mate at the surface or under water. The females lay 8–30 eggs in a clutch and may lay from 2 to 5 clutches each year. After an incubation period of about 60 days, which may be longer or shorter depending upon temperature, the eggs hatch.

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General News Updates

2019 National Symposium on Biological Invasio…


This is your invitation to South Africa's 2019 National Symposium on Biological Invasions. The convention is hosted by the Centre for Invasion Biology (CIB), University of Stellenbosch, and the Biolo... Read more

2019 Invasive Species Training


During the past five years (2014-2018), ISSA invasive species trainers have trained 4 000 in the identification of invasive species and laws pertaining to invasive species across South Africa.  ... Read more

Alien Grass Working Group


Who are we? The South African National Alien Grass Working Group was jointly initiated by the South African Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and the Centre for Excellence in Invasion Biology (C·I·B) in... Read more

Permits for planting indigenous Cynodon?


On 16 February, 2018, South Africa's Department of Environmental Affairs issued amendments to the regulations and lists relating to the National List of Invasive Species.  Updates to the draft&n... Read more

Invasive species training 2018 dates released


Interested in invasive species?  How much do you know about NEMBA invasive species compliance for landowners and organs of state? The South African Green Industries Council (SAGIC) have released... Read more

Communications post for Africa advertised


The Nature Conservancy has advertised a brand new post:  Communications Manager, Africa Region. Knowledge of invasive species and water would be an asset in this post. See details below:    Job Titl... Read more