Blanding's Turtle (Emys blandingii)

Identification: Carapace smooth and dome like, black, often with yellow speckles. Plastron with crosswise hinge, yellow with black outer blotches. Head and upper neck black, throat and lower neck bright yellow. Male has concave plastron.

Blanding's Turtle
Photo © Jim Harding

Adult carapace length: 6 to 10.75 inches (15.2 to 27.4 cm).

Habitat: Shallow, weedy ponds, marshes, river backwaters and sloughs.

Habits: Mostly aquatic, but often travel over land to find nest sites, mates, or new habitat. Timid, depends on shell for protection. They eat crayfish, insects, tadpoles, carrion, etc.

Reproduction: Females nest in June, burying 3 to 21 elliptical eggs in the ground. The dark colored, long tailed hatchlings emerge in August or September.

Range and Status: Common in the Lower Peninsula; rare in the Upper Peninsula. Threatened by wetland degradation and road mortality. Protected by Michigan law as a special concern species.

Related Documents
Blanding's Turtle Occurrences Map PDF icon