Spotted Turtle

Spotted Turtle               Clemmys guttata

Type of Animal:

Shallow slow-moving freshwater/brackish areas or nearby: bogs, marshes, swamps, wet meadows, woodland/forest streams & brooks, permanent/seasonal pools, ponds, fens, wet pastures, flooded forests, ditches, muddy streams, sphagnum seepages, Carolina bays, coastal plains, wet prairies, open fields, forests/woodlands near wetlands, roadsides, needs aquatic vegetation/soft substrate

Found in S Ontario & Quebec as well as E US in E Great Lakes & E of Appalachians

Gray to black base color, smooth carapace (upper shell), mostly black w/ spots (though not always visible), plastron (bottom shell) yellow or orange-yellow w/ black spot on each scute, become darker w/ age, black head w/ orange blotch on each side, skin on dorsal side black w/ yellow spots, skin on ventral side orange, pink, or red, females more spotted than males & bigger, males have tan chin, brown eyes, & long thick tail, females have yellow chin w/ orange eyes/shorter tail, males have concave plastron, females have flat/convex plastron, northern individuals have more conspicuous spots

Insects, insect larvae, worms, frogs, salamanders, crabs, crayfish, aquatic plants (especially duckweed & those of Azolla genus but others as well), green algae, snails, fruit, berries, millipedes, spiders, small fish, carrion, leaves, water lily seeds, amphibian eggs/larvae, greens, baby mice, slugs, shrimp, prawns

Status in Wild:

Breeding from zoos, aquariums, & private breeders. Reintroduction into areas of range where scarce.

Often found in groups of 10-15 turtles.

Additional Info:


Male-3-6 oz
Female-4-8 oz
Young-0.14-0.2 oz

2.5 months 

Life Span:
30-40 years in wild, 60 years in captivity

Body Length:
Male-3.5 in
Female-4.5 in
Young-0.9-1 in

Main predators are alligators, foxes, owls, coyotes, wolves, otters, crows, raccoons, muskrats, mink, snapping turtles, snakes, skunks, eagles, bears, dogs, rats, bobcats, & large predatory fish.

Endangered due to pet trade, water pollution, habitat loss, road mortality, & agriculture.

Sexually mature at 7-14 years.

Like many reptiles, cooler incubation temps produce males & higher ones produce females.

They breed in the Spring.

Fun Fact(s):
Females able to store sperm for up to 5 years.

They hibernate during cold and overly hot periods.

Females travel long distances to find suitable nesting sites.

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