Kinosternidae, Mud and Musk Turtles, of the United States
Musk and Mud Turtles acan be distinguished by a small, smooth oval shaped carapace bearing 11 marginal scutes on each side. Rear margin of the carapace is not serrated, and the plastron is single or double hinged with 10 or 11 scutes. Females have short tails, those of males extend well beyond the carapace margin and end in a blunt or spinelike horny nail. The inned surface of males hind legs have two small patches of tilted scales
All musk and mud turtles have 2 pairs of musk glands beneath the border of the carapace. The secretions are very offensive, thus the common names of "stinkpot" and "musk turtle".
Although occasionally encountered out of water, these turtles are strongly aquatic and are usually seen crawling along the bottom. They sun themselves in shallow water or amid floating vegetation with on the center portion of the shell exposed.
Each year females may lay one or more cltches of elliptical eggs with brittle porcelainlike shells, translucent pink, bluish-white or banded with stark white.
There are nine species of Kinosternidae, Mud and Musk Turtles, in the U.S.
Found from southern Georgia south through the Florida Keys.
Found from northern Nebraska south to texas, eastern and southern New Mexico with separate populations in northwestern Illinois and on the Illinois/Iowa border.
Found from the Big Bend region of Texas south through the Mexican plataeu.
Found from southwestern New Mexico, Arizona and adjacent extreme southeastern California south into Mexico.
Found from southwestern Connecticut and Long Island wouth to southern Florida, west to central Texas, and north in the Mississippi Valley to southern Illinoi and southwestern Indiana with an isolated population occuring in northwestern Indiana.
Found from southern Mississippi west to Texas.
Found in the Black Warrior River system in northwestern Alabama.
Found from central Georgia to central Florida and the panhandle west to eastern Mississippi and extreme eastern Louisiana, north through eastern Tennessee.
Found from southern Ontario and coastal Maine to Florida west to central Texas, north to southern Wisconsin.