Year of the Turtle
Northeast Region

Turtles of the Month - Student Corner


Diamondback terrapin. Credit: USFWS



Spotted turtle


Painted turtle


Red-eared Slider


Wood turtle. Credit: Linh Phu


Eastern Musk turtle


2011 Year of the turtle graphic

Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta

Painted turtle. Credit: USFWS
Painted turtle

Description: Head, legs and tail are black with yellow stripes. Underside of its marginals—the plates of the shell’s perimeter—has bold red markings. Usually 4 to 9 inches long.

Habitat: Prefers still water with abundant aquatic vegetation and a soft stream bottom. Found in ponds, marshes, streams and rivers throughout the Northeast.

Diet: Omnivorous, feeding on worms, insects, tadpoles and small fish, as well as pondweed, algal matter and flowering plants.

Status: Still abundant in most areas.

Threats: Include: road mortality; increased abundance of predators, such as raccoons; collection for pet trade; habitat loss and degradation.

To learn more, visit
Chesapeake Bay Program
Turtle Conservation Project
Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge
New Hampshire Fish and Game Department      
Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

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Last updated: September 7, 2011