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

Musk Turtle (Stinkpot) (Sternotherus odoratus)

Eastern Musk turtle. Credit: John White
Spotted turtle

Description. Rarely exceed 4 inches. Shell is grey to black. Pointed head with two yellow stripes running down each side of head and neck. Two pairs of barbells on the chin and throat used for sensory purposes. Males have a thick, long tail with a horny tip.

Habitat. Prefer slow-moving water with soft bottom and aquatic vegetation. Exclusively aquatic, though sometimes seen basking.

Diet. Carnivorous.

Status. Widespread and stable.

Threats. Include: predators such as raccoons; fatalities from fishing hooks; road mortality; habitat loss; and water pollution.

To learn more, visit:
Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection
New Hampshire Fish and Game Department

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Last updated: September 7, 2011