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Wood Turtle   

Glyptemys insculpta

State Listing: Special Concern

Commonly Confused Native Species:


  • Often Not Confused with other Species



Size:                   A medium sized turtle measuring 4.5 to 8 inches in

                            length (SLC).  


Color:                 Wood turtles have a brown carapace with each scute

                            sculptured and rough, resembling a carved piece of

                            wood.  The plastron is yellow with black blotches along

                            margin.  The back of limbs and neck are orange.             


Behavior:          Wood turtles spend the early spring, fall and winter in

                            aquatic habitats.  During the spring they can be observed

                            basking along river banks.  Once they leave aquatic

                            habitats in the spring they are rarely encountered due to

                            their cryptic coloration and behavior.   Females come into

                            terrestrial habitats to lay eggs in late May and June,

                            when they are often seen crossing  roadways.  Wood

                            turtles are also seen crossing roadways when moving

                            between habitat types.


Habitat:             Wood turtles use a variety of habitats including rivers and

                           streams for early spring and fall activities and winter

                           hibernation.  During the late spring and summer months

                           they move into floodplain habitats and the terrestrial

                           uplands associated with riparian systems including

                           forests and fields.         

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