Everyone likes turtles. Connecticut has 12 different types of turtles, counting the 4 sea turtles that feed in our coastal waters. Here’s a look at a few of our native turtles.
Please Don't Trouble the Turtles!
Turtles are best kept in the wild. It takes years for a turtle to become an adult and, once it does, it needs to mate to make more turtles! When turtles are in captivity, they can lose the ability to get food on their own, become ill easily and are unable to be returned to the wild.
Box turtles are rare in Connecticut because many have been collected as pets or are killed when they cross roads. In Connecticut, box turtles can no longer be taken from the wild to be kept as a pet.
Box turtles are land turtles. They have a unique bottom shell with a “hinge” that lets the turtle close its shell like a box.
Snapping turtles get their name from their large, strong jaws and their habit of snapping to defend themselves. They often snap more when they are out of water than in water. These turtles have a small bottom shell which does not offer very much protection compared to other turtles. Snapping turtles live in ponds, rivers, beaver marshes, bogs and other wet habitats.
Rare Bog Turtles
Connecticut’s smallest and rarest turtle is the bog turtle. This secretive turtle lives in wet meadows and wetlands called bogs, only in the northwestern part of the state. Bogs are not very common in Connecticut. The bog turtle is also rare because it has been over-collected for the pet trade. This turtle can be recognized by the orange patch on each side of the head.