Painted Turtle


Photo: Jeff Dawson

4"-10", with an olive to black carapace that is oval, smooth, and flattened.  Scute seams are bordered with olive, yellow, or red and had red bars or crescents on marginal scutes.  Yellow plastron, and yellow or red stripes on the neck, legs, and tail.  This is the most widespread turtle in North America, living throughout the eastern, modwestern, and upper western portions of the U.S., from coast to coast.  It lives in slow-moving shallow streams, rivers, and lakes, usually with lots of logs for basking.  Very fond of basking and dozens can be seen on the same log.  Young begin carnivorous, but become herbivorous as they mature.