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floridana head

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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scripta head

 

 

Basking Turtles

The following turtles spend large portions of their days basking on fallen trees, logs, or rocks. The benefits of basking include thermoregulation, removal of leeches, and absorption of ultraviolet radiation to facilitate bone growth. Because of this habit, these are the turtles most frequently observed by people who visit the river or springs.

Watch the video "Turtle Party" taken at Blue Springs, Gilchrist County to see Suwannee Cooters underwater.

Suwannee Cooter
Pseudemys concinna suwanniensis

ID: black V-shaped mark on front of plastron
      adult males have long foreclaws used for courtship
      carapace length*: female 16.1" (408mm); male 14.1" (359mm)
Habitat: river and springs
Diet: herbivore
Nesting season: March - August

• most abundant basking turtle
• only found in rivers between Tallahassee and Tampa
• largest member of family Emydidae
• nesting females dig 3 holes
• threatened by illegal collection for food and boat propeller strikes
• take or possession from the wild prohibited by Florida Fish and
   Wildlife Conservation Commission [Rule 68A-25.002(9)]


cooter
plastron
plastron
baby
baby
male_female
female and male
measure
measuring plastron

 


Video courtesy of Lesley Gamble              


Peninsular Cooter
Pseudemys floridana peninsularis

ID: yellow plastron with no markings
      adult males have long foreclaws used for courtship
      carapace length*: female 14.0" (356mm); male 11.3" (287mm)
Habitat: river and springs
Diet: herbivore
Nesting season: September – June

• threatened by illegal collection for food and boat propeller strikes
• take or possession from the wild prohibited by Florida Fish and
   Wildlife Conservation Commission [Rule 68A-25.002(9)]


peninsular cooter
plastron
plastron
carapace detail

 


Florida Red-bellied Turtle
Pseudemys nelsoni

ID: red bar on each side of carapace
      reddish-orange plastron
      adult males have long foreclaws used for courtship
      carapace length*: female 12.6" (319mm); male 11.2" (285mm)
Habitat: river and springs
Diet: herbivore
Nesting season: May – August

• only lives in Florida and extreme southern Georgia
• threatened by illegal collection for food and boat propeller strikes
• take or possession from the wild prohibited by Florida Fish and             Wildlife Conservation Commission [Rule 68A-25.002(9)]


Red-bellied
plastron
plastron
baby
baby

 


Yellow-bellied Slider
Trachemys scripta scripta

ID: yellow patch on each side of head     
      two dark spots on front of plastron
      some males with black head
      rough textured carapace
      adult males have long foreclaws used for courtship
      carapace length*: female 11.0" (279mm);  male 9.3 (236mm)

Habitat: river and springs
Diet: omnivore
Nesting season: April - August
• second most abundant basking turtle
• does not naturally occur south of Alachua County

plastron
plastron
scripta plastron
melanistic male


* Carapace length listed is longest recorded in Santa Fe River

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