Last updated: September 7, 2011
Turtles of the Month - Student Corner
Spotted Turtle (Clemmys guttata)
Description: Shells are black with small yellow spots and adults reach 4 – 5“ in length. Males have black or tan chins and yellow eyes, while females have yellow chins and orange eyes. Skin on the head, limbs and tails is gray-black and also patterned with yellow spots.
Habitat: Found in marshy meadows, swamps, bogs, small ponds, ditches and shallow bodies of water. Occurs in the northern tier of states from Michigan to Maine and down the eastern seaboard to Florida.
Diet: Feeds on aquatic invertebrates, plants, amphibian eggs and carrion.
Status: Protected by the states of Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Vermont. Considered to be rare in West Virginia and is a species of special concern in New York.
Threats: Include: habitat fragmentation, which is particularly harmful to the spotted turtle due to its nomadic behavior; poaching for illegal pet trade; road mortality.