Turtle, Common Map
Maximum length about 11 inches. Males are much smaller than females, with a maximum length of about 5.5 inches. The shell is moderately low and flattened, with a central keel. The carapace is smooth, with a slightly serrated rear margin, and a reticulate pattern of light lines on an olive background. The head and legs are olive to dark brown with light stripes; there is nearly always a somewhat elongated spot behind the eye.
Class: Reptile (Reptilia)
Order: Chelonia Cryptodira
Range: Northeastern United States, as far south as Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee
Habitat: Prefers rivers and quiet backwaters, sometimes large bodies of water, such as lakes.
Wild Diet: Crayfish, snails, insects, mollusks, fish
Zoo Diet: Same as wild, plus vitamin supplements
This turtle is not especially timid or aggressive. If pursued in water they seek concealment in bottom vegetation, or rely on their speed in swimming, which is considerable. In the spring they spend most of the day basking in the sun, but in warmer weather they head for deeper water. At the approach of winter they head for shallow water again.
Mating is usually in April, although occasionally in the fall. Egg laying season lasts from late May until July, with most individuals depositing eggs in June. Females will wander for long distances inland, searching for suitable nesting places, preferring soft, ploughed soil or clear, dry sand. The nest is excavated to a depth to which the hind foot will conveniently reach. The eggs are ellipsoidal in shape, of a dull white color, and have a soft, easily indented shell. An occasional nest remains intact throughout the winter, as newly hatched young ones are sometimes found in August or September.
Gestation: Approximately 90 days
Litter: Clutch: 9 to 17 eggs
Conservation Status: Least Concern
- Females lay two clutches of eggs per season. The sex of hatchling turtles is determined by the temperature of the eggs during incubation. Temperatures around 25 degrees Celsius result in males, whereas, temperatures around 30 degrees Celsius result in females. Temperatures in the middle result in a mixture of different sexed hatchlings.