Common Name: Spotted Turtle
Scientific Name: Clemmys guttata
Species: C. guttata
Habitat: The Spotted Turtle lives in two portions of eastern North America; Southern Maine and eastern portions of Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, and Northern Florida. These area's provide a healthy habitiat for the turtle which includes marshy meadows, bogs, swamps, ponds, ditches, or other bodies of stagnant water. The spotted Turtle feeds off of certain plants and animals which are consumed in the water most of the time. Examples of these foods are algae, water lily seeds, worms, mollusks, crustaceans, amphibian eggs, and carrion.
These turtles can range in size from 3 ½ -5”. Their active reproduction season is from March to May. At this time, several males may be seen chasing one female. When the female is ready, she will let one catch her and climb onto her back. He grasps her shell with all four feet, positions his tail next to hers, and mates with her. The gestation period of a female Spotted Turtle ranges from 45 to 65 days. Description: This particular type of turtle has many colorations on its outside. There are yellow spots on its neck, legs, and carapace. The solid color behind the spots is black, and the number and arrangement of spots varies. Hatchlings have one spot on each plate, and adults have 100 or more on each plate. Rarely, but it is possible, you will find a Spotted Turtle with no spots on its shell, but even these strange turtles would still have yellow and orange workings on its face.
Their plastrons are yellow and black. Males have dark pigment on both jaws, and females have yellowish pigment on their jaws. Because these turtles have bright colors, they are attractive as pets for a human which has caused a large downfall in their population. Also, pollution, toxicants, and water quality has played a major role in their quickly decreasing population. The thing that benefits us from these turtles is the adults and their eggs have been used as a food resource by humans for centuries. They also provide dispersal mechanisms for plants, scavengers, herbivores, and carnivores.
Author: Kelsey H.
Published: April 2006
Sources: "All About Turtles." Gulf of Maine Aquarium. 2000. Gulf of Maine Aquarium. . "Spotted Turtle Factsheet." Department of Environmental Conservation. 1998. New York State Department of Conservation. . http://www.michigan.gov/images/spotted_turtle_102940_7.jpg http://www.bnl.gov/esd/reserve/images/turtle3_small.jpg http://www.bnl.gov/esd/reserve/images/Turtle%20Radio%20Telemetry%203.jpg