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Painted Turtle   

Chrysemys picta

Commonly Confused Native Species:


  • Often Not Confused with other Species



Size:                  A medium sized turtle measuring 3.5 to 7 inches in

                           length (SLC).


Color:                Painted turtles have a smooth, flattened black carapace

                           with pale yellow seams bordering each scute. The

                           marginal scutes are marked with a bright red pattern. The

                           plastron is orange to yellow, with yellow stripes running

                           down neck and red stripes running down front limbs.             

Behavior:         Painted turtles spend the majority of their time in aquatic

                           habitats.  They can often be seen from afar basking on

                           logs, rocks or emergent vegetation.  When basking

                           turtles are approached  they are quick to retreat back into

                           the water for cover.  Females come into terrestrial

                           habitats to lay eggs in late May and June, when they are

                           often seen crossing  roadways. Painted turtles are docile

                           and rarely bite when handled.   


Habitat:             Aquatic habitats across the state including lakes, ponds,

                           rivers, streams, swamps and marshes.  Painted turtles

                           prefer waters with an abundance of emergent vegetation

                           which provides them with cover and foraging




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