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Reptiles of the United States  
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A Guide to the Reptiles &
Amphibians of the United States
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Emydidae (Pond,Marsh, and Box Turtles) of the United States

Emydids north of Mexico are small to medium sized turtles with horny scute overed shells, twelve marginal scutes on each side of the carapace, and six pairs of scutes on the plastron. The plastron and bridge are well developed. Unlike tortoises, the hind feet are flattened and slongated with some webbing. With the exception of the high domes Terrapene, emydid shells are low profile. Balnding's and box turtles have a single plastral hinge.

Most emydids are semiaquatic, Grapytemys and Malaclemys are the most highly aquatic, while Clemmys and Terrapene are the most terrestrial. Diet is varied, while generally omnivorous, some species are carnivorous as juveniles and essentially herbivorous as adults. Basking behavior is well developed. The courtship pattern of emydids is often elaborate. Male Chrysemys may face females and stroke her head and neck with his elongated foreclaws. Egg and clutch size vary with species, subspecies, size of females, and latitude. From 2 to 25 elliptical eggs are typicallu deposited in a flask slaped nest. Northern forms usually next once a season shile southern can nest 2 or 3 (or more) times a season.


There 26 species of Emydidae in the U.S.

Alabama Red-Bellied Turtle (Chrysemys alabamensis)

Found in the lower portion of the Mobile Bay drainage in Alabama.

River Cooter (Chrysemys concinna)

Found from the coastal plain of southeastern Virginia t Georgia, southeast into Florida, west into Texas and New Mexico, and north in the Mississippi Valley to southern Illinois.

Cooter (Chrysemys floridana)

Found in the coastal plain from Virgiia to eastern Texas, north in the Mississippi Valley to southern Illinois and eastern Oklahoma.

Florida Red-Bellied Turtle (Chrysemys nelsoni)

Found in the Florida peninsula and Apalachicola areaa of the panhandle.

Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta)

Found from British Columbia to Nova Scotia, south to Georgia, west to Louisiana, north to Oklahoma, and northwest to Oregon with isolated populations in the Southwest..

Red-Bellied Turtle (Chrysemys rubriventris)

Found in the mid-atlantic coastal plain from souterhn New Jersey to northeastern North Carolina, and west in the Potomic River with an isolated population in southeastern Massachussetts.

Pond Slider (Chrysemys scripta)

Found from southeastern Virginia to northern Florida west to New Mexico, south to Brazil.

Spotted Turtle (Clemmys guttata)

Found from southern Maine south along the Atlantic coastal plain to northern Florida, west through Maryland, Pennsylvania, and southern New York into northern Ohio and Indiana, extreme northeastern Illinois and adjacent southeastern Wisconsin, southern Michigam and Ontario, Canada.

Wood Turtle (Clemmys insculpta)

Found from Nova Scotia south to northern Virginia and discontinuously west trough southern Quebec and the Great Lakes region to eastern Minnesota and northeastern Iowa..

Western Pond Turtle (Clemmys marmorata)

Found from west of teh Cascade-Sierra Nevada crest from extreme southwestern British Columbia south to Baja California. Isolate dpopulation in Carson and Truckee rivers in extreme western Nevada.

Bog Turtle (Clemmys muhlenbergi)

Found from eastern New York and adjacent Massachussetts adn Connecticut, south through New Jersey and parts of Pennsylvanis, Delaware, and Maryland. Other populations in the Finger Lakes region (New York) and aprts of Pennsylvania, Virginia, and North Carolina.

Chicken Turtle (Deirochelys reticularia)

Found from the coastal plain from southeastern Virginia to Florida, west to eastern Texas, north to Oklahoma and Missouri.

Blanding's Turtle (Emydoidea blandingi)

Found in the Great lakes region and west to Nebraska. Separate population in southern New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and eastern New Yrok.

Barbour's Map Turtle (Graptemys barbouri)

Found in the Apalachicola River drainage of southwestern Georgia, southeastern Alabama, and the Florida panhandle.

Cagle's Map Turtle (Graptemys caglei)

Found in the Guadalupe/San Antonio river systems of Texas.

Yellow-Blotched Sawback (Graptemys flavimaculata)

Found in the Pascagoula River system in Mississippi.

Map Turtle (Graptemys geographica)

Found in Lake George and lake Champlain through St. Lawrence and the Great lakes drainage, south to Tennessee and Alabama, also in Arkansas and Missouri river draingages. Isolated populations in the Delaware River and Susquehanna River drainage.

Mississippi Map Turtle (Graptemys kohni)

Found in the western Mississippi River basin from southwestern Iowa to central Illinois, south to the Gulf.

Black-Knobbed Sawback (Graptemys migrinoda)

Found below the fall line in rivers of the Mobile Bay drainage, Alabama and Mississippi.

Ringed Sawback (Graptemys oculifera)

Found in the Pearl River system of Mississippi and Louisiana.

False Map Turtles (Graptemys pseudogeographica)

Found in the Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio river drainages, south to Louisiana, Sabine River drainage of Texas and Louisiana.

Alabama Map Turtle (Graptemys pulchra)

Found in rivers draining into the Gulf of Mexico from the Yellow River system of Alabama and extreme western Florida to the Pearl River system of eastern Louisiana.

Texas Map Turtle (Graptemys versa)

Found in the Colorado River, Texas.

Diamondback Terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin)

Found from Cape Cod to Texas along the Atalantic and Gulf coasts.

Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina)

Found from southern Maine south into the Florida Keys and west to Michigan, southern Illinois, Missouri, and eastern Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas with an isolated population in extreme southeastern Wisconsin.

Western Box Turtle (Terrapene ornata)

Found from southern South Dakota, Iowa, and eastern Illinois south to Louisiana and texas, west to southwestern Arizona with a separate population in northwestern Inidiana and adjacent Illinois.


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Recommended Pond, Marsh, and Box Turtle Books at Amazon.com