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
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.