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Spotted Turtle   

Clemmys guttata

State Listing: Special Concern

Commonly Confused Native Species:


  • Often Not Confused with other Species




Size:                   A small sized turtle measuring 3.5 to 4.5 inches in length



Color:                 Spotted turtles have a black carapace sprinkled with

                            yellow spots, hatchlings and juveniles often have one

                            spot per scute. The plastron is tan to yellow with large

                            black marginal blotches. There is a prominent orange

                            blotch behind each eye, with spotting on the head, neck

                            and limbs.                              


Behavior:          Spotted turtles are a cryptic species spending their time

                            in well vegetated areas often concealing their presence.

                            During the spring months, prior to leaf-out, they can be

                            seen basking.  Females may come into terrestrial

                            habitats to lay eggs in late May and June or nest in

                            tussocks within the wetland.  Spotted turtles are often

                            seen crossing  roadways when moving between

                            different habitat types. Spotted turtles are docile and

                            rarely bite when handled.    


Habitat:             Spotted turtles use a variety of habitats throughout the

                            year.  During the spring they frequent wetland habitats

                            including shrub swamps, wet meadows and vernal

                            pools.  During the warmer summer months they move

                            into terrestrial habitats; returning to wetland habitats in

                            the fall for hibernation.



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