Common Map Turtle (Graptemys geographica)


Common Map Turtle
(Graptemys geographica)

Identification: Green, olive, or brown carapace has irregular (“map like”) markings and a low central keel. Plastron light yellow. Narrow yellow stripes on head and limbs; yellow spot behind eye. Females have big heads, very wide jaws.

Adult female carapace length: 6.7 to 10.7 inches (17 to 27.2 cm).
Adult male carapace length: 4 to 6.3 inches (10 to 16 cm).

Habitat: Larger lakes, rivers, oxbow sloughs with ample basking places.

Habits: Often seen basking on logs, but they dive off at least disturbance. Females crush snails, other mollusks, and crayfish in strong jaws; narrow headed males eat smaller mollusks and insects.

Reproduction: Between late May and early July, females bury 6 to 20 oval, soft-shelled eggs near water. Eggs hatch in 65 to 80 days. Hatchlings either emerge and head for water or stay in nest until spring.

SOURCE: Michigan DNR


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