Spotted Turtle
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Spotted Turtle
Spotted Turtle
Spotted Turtle

Online Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Connecticut

Spotted Turtle - Clemmys guttata

Description

A small turtle with a shell length of up to 5 inches (12.5 cm; Ernest and Barbour 1989). A black turtle with yellow spots on its carapace. Females are slightly larger than males. Females have yellow chins and orange eyes. Males have tan chins and brown eyes. Hatchlings look similar to adults.

 

Reproduction

Clutches of 2 to 8 eggs are laid in well-drained soil. Eggs usually hatch in 70 to 90 days, but hatchlings may overwinter in the egg. Hatchlings, such as the one pictured here, are more circular in shape when viewed from above than are adults.

 

Habitat

A semiaquatic turtle, at home on land and in shallow water. Found in bogs, small ponds and small streams and brooks.

 

Food

Omnivorous. In the wild eats worms, slugs, snails, crayfish, spiders, insects, frogs and salamanders.

 

Range

Much of the eastern seaboard from extreme southwestern Maine to the northeast of Florida. Range extends westward from New England to Indiana and much of Michigan (see Conant and Collins 1998). Found throughout Connecticut.

 

Status

Although regulated locally throughout much of its range, the Spotted Turtle is not federally protected. No special protection in Connecticut.

 

Comment

Spotted Turtles prefer milder temperatures and are usually the first turtles to emerge in spring and seek refuge in summer when the temperature is hottest.

 

References

Conant, R. and J.T. Collins. 1991. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians: Eastern/Central North America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. 450 pp.

Ernest, Carl M. and Roger W. Barbour. 1989. Turtles of the World. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press. 188 pp.

 

Credits

Text by Charles Sikorski, Jr. and Gregory J. Watkins-Colwell.
Photographs © Gregory J. Watkins-Colwell. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Animals featured in photographs on this page are from Connecticut.