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Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta)
Identification: The low, smooth carapace is black or olive, with red
markings along or under the margins. Plastron yellow or orange with dark central
blotch or figure. Head yellow striped, neck and limbs red or yellow striped.
Photo © Jim Harding
Adult carapace length: 4 to 9.8 inches (10 to 25 cm).
Habitat: Prefer shallow, weedy waters with mud bottom (ponds, lakes,
Habits: Much time spent basking; may move over land to find new
habitat or nest site. They eat aquatic plants and seeds, insects, snails,
tadpoles, carrion, etc.
Reproduction: Males have very long front claws, used to tickle females
during courtship. Females nest late May to early July; 4 to 20 elliptical, soft
shelled eggs are buried in sunny spot. Incubation takes 70 to 80 days, but
hatchlings will often spend the winter in the nest and emerge in spring.
Range and Status: Common statewide. Midland Painted turtle (Chrysemys
picta marginata) in Lower Peninsula has narrow plastral blotch. Western
Painted turtle (C. p. belli), with expanded plastral blotch, intergrades
with Midland throughout the Upper Peninsula.
Related Documents> Painted Turtle Occurrences Map - 111975 bytes