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
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.