DEEP: Painted Turtle

Painted Turtle

(Chrysemys picta ssp.)

{Painted Turtle}

IDENTIFICATION: A flat, smooth-shelled turtle, readily distinguished by its orange plastron, yellow striped neck, and red stripes running down its front limbs. Males much smaller than females, adults 90-170 mm carapace length.

Painted turtles are widely distributed in Connecticut, but uncommon at higher elevations. They reach their greatest abundance in weed-choked, shallow impoundments and ponds. Although not as widely distributed as the common snapping turtle, painted turtles are Connecticut's most familiar turtle because of their basking habits, conspicuously perched in large numbers on emergent rocks and logs. The creation of artificial ponds and impoundments has undoubtedly increased the amount of available painted turtle habitat in Connecticut over the last century and they are presently considered secure within the state. Klemens (1978) reported that the Connecticut population of painted turtles was composed of intergrades between the eastern painted turtle (Chrysemys p. picta) and the midland painted turtle (Chrysemys picta marginata).

Turtles | Amphibians and Reptiles in Connecticut