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Spotted Turtle

Range:

Ranges from southern Canada, through the Coastal Plain into northern Florida, and also westward to the southern Great Lakes area.

Habitat:

Marshy meadows, bogs, swamps, small ponds, ditches, or other shallow bodies of water

Characteristics:

The yellow spots are extremely variable in number. Hatchlings usually have 1 spot on each large scute, but older turtles may be well sprinkled, their spots totaling 100 or more. In some cases spots on carapace may be few or lacking entirely. Males: Horny portions of both jaws and brown eyes, tan chin. Females: Horny portions of both jaws with orange eyes and yellow chin.

Spotted Turtle Click to View Bigger Picture
Behavior:

Seldom in a hurry. Basking specimens usually enter the water rather leisurely when disturbed, hiding themselves nearby in mud or debris at bottom. Much more frequently seen in spring than at other seasons.

Reproduction:

Mating most frequently occurs in April, usually in water. Males may sometimes fight rivals over a female. About a month after mating takes place, egg laying begins. The eggs are usually laid in sandy or loamy soft soil, in an open sunny area near the water. The female digs a nest with her hind legs and deposits 2-8 elliptical, white eggs. She then covers the eggs, and drags her plastron over the nest area before returning to the water. The eggs hatch in about 75 days, normally in August, but hatchlings from late nestings may overwinter in the nest. The incubation time is dependent on temperature and other climatic conditions. Babies usually head for the water upon hatching, and as with many turtles, the hatchlings are very secretive and seldom seen.

Spotted Turtle Click to View Bigger Picture
Spotted Turtle
Range
Class: reptile
Genus: Clemmys
Species: guttata
Length: 3 1/2-4 1/2 inches (9-11.5 cm)
Wild Diet: Worms, snails, insects, crayfish, and scavenged fish, along with some algae and other aquatic plants
USFWS Status: Not Listed
CITES Status: Not Listed
Where at the Zoo? Small Animal Building: Temperate Zone


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