The northern snake-necked turtle (Chelodina (Chelydera) rugosa) is a species of turtle in the family Chelidae or Austro-South American Side-necked Turtles. It is native to northern Australia and southern New Guinea.
The species was described in 1890 from material collected in Cape York of Queensland, Australia. The species has in recent years had several species of turtle synonymised with it, the distribution includes northern Australia, Indonesia and Pitcairn. As a member of the sub-family Pleurodira this species is a side-necked turtle and also a snake-necked strike and gape predator. This carnivorous turtle will consume fish, tadpoles, hatchling turtles, worms, crickets, etc.
It is not an aggressive species with a biting defense. Individuals tend to flail to escape rather than bite. This species can be found not only in fresh water, but due to the proximity of the south New Guinea coast and close off shore islands, it also can be found in brackish water. Chelodina rugosa tends to hide under and between rocks and logs where possible or buries itself in the mud to act as an ambush predator to fish, amphibian, and invertebrate prey. Sexual dimorphism is quite evident in this species. Females can be easily recognized by the very short, stubby tail.