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Painted Turtle Chrysemys picta


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Painted Turtle, Eastern subspecies
credit: Jmalik

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Family: Emydidae, Pond and Box Turtles view all from this family

Description Long, oval, smooth, and flat-bottomed carapace. Olive to black, allowing the turtle to blend in with its surroundings. Plastron is yellow, sometimes red, sometimes with dark markings in the center. Similar to the top shell, the turtle's skin is olive to black, but with red and yellow stripes on its neck, legs, and tail.

Dimensions 10.2-25.1cm. (4-9 7/8")

Subspecies Eastern Painted Turtle - costal scutes aligned with vertebral seams. Yellow plastron. From New England to Eastern coastal states south to Georgia & Alabama.
Midland Painted Turtle - blotch in center of yellow plastron. Quebec through to Tennessee.
Southern Painted Turtle - Stripe on carapace, yellow plastron. Along Gulf, Alabama, Oklahoma & Illinois.
Western Painted Turtle - Mesh like pattern on carapace. Ontario to Missouri, Oregon & British Columbia.

Breeding May-July. Digs a nest cavity 4" deep. 1-2 clutches per year in north, 2-4 in south. 2-20 eggs per clutch. Eggs 32mm (1 1/4") long. hatch after 10-11 weeks. Mature at 2-5 years. Females 4-8.

Habitat Slow-moving muddy soft bottomed streams, rivers lakes.

Range From Atlantic to pacific coasts. Canada, Washington, Oregon to Texas and Georgia.

Discussion Basks in groups with other turtles, often on the same log. Herbivorous as adults, carnivorous as young.