Peninsula Cooter

Pseudemys floridana peninsularis

Description: Maximum length to 16 inches; top of shell (carapace) uniformly dark with pattern of parallel yellow lines stretching out toward the sides yellow markings frequently hidden by algae and moss growing on shell; high point of shell is one-third back and then slopes gradually to rear jaw straight across rather than notched like Red-bellied Turtle.

Food: Young carnivorous, adults vegetarian.

Habitat: Permanent bodies of water such as lakes and swamps.

Range: Most of peninsular Florida.

Breeding: Digs shallow hole in loose open soil and lays 1-2 dozen eggs.

Similar: Red-bellied Turtle shells are more dome shaped with high point in center while Cooter shells have high point one-third way back and more streamlined. Chicken Turtle shells have high point about one-third back but have net-like pattern of fine yellow lines; Chicken Turtles also have very long necks, striped pants, and foreleg stripe.

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