S. Georgia through the Florida Keys
Cypress swamps, sloughs, ponds, drainage canals, wet meadows
Wild: Insects, snails, dead fish, algae, cabbage-palm seeds
Zoo: Meat, fish
13 to 19 weeks
1 to 4 eggs
30 to 40 years
This small turtle does not exceed a carapace length of 4-3/4 inches. It has three long, light stripes on a smooth, keelless carapace. The color varies from a horn color to black and is often a reddish-brown. Stripes may become obscured with age. The plastron has two well-developed hinges and 11 scutes. The hinges allow the turtle to partially withdraw into its shell, but the closure is not as complete as in box turtles. Males have a spine-tipped tail and rough scale patches on the inside of the hind legs. It has musk glands on the sides of the body that it will empty when frightened. (Long time captive give up this habit.)
Did You Know?
The striped mud turtle is sometimes called the “cow-dung scooter” because it forages in manure.
Where in the Zoo?
I can be found in the Conservation Education Programs at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.