The remaining species, all of which are aquatic, may be collected for personal use or may be trapped commercially from private waters with an approved commercial turtle harvest license. Fine yellow lines run the length of the tail, legs and neck, but none of the yellow lines on the neck reach the eye. They will quickly destroy any captive housing setup. Pond cooters are known to eat aquatic plants commonly found in their more still-water habitats, including coontail, arrowhead and duckweed, as well as at least two introduced plants, water hyacinth and hydrilla. The front edge of the shell behind the neck and head has a small row of hard, spike-like projections from which the Spiny Softshell turtle gets its common name. They feed on a wide variety of foods including aquatic plants, insects, crayfish, snails and tadpoles. Ornate Box Turtles are found statewide but are most common in the western half of the state. Some individuals may have entirely yellow heads, while some males may have red or orange spots on their front legs. This is possibly the most abundant turtle in Oklahoma and is found nearly statewide in streams, rivers, ponds, reservoirs, marshes and sloughs.
The Florida red-bellied cooter P. Because of their specialized diet of insects, Ornate Box Turtles are relatively difficult to keep in captivity and do not make good pets. Painted Turtle Chrysemys picta belli and Chrysemys picta dorsalis Credit: Brumation can occur to varying degrees. The neck is very long, but is often retracted into the shell. During courtship, the male swims around the female and flutters or vibrates the back side of his long claws on and around her face and head, possibly to direct pheromones towards her. The skin color is greenish with many yellow lines and markings on the head, neck, legs and tail. The Red-eared Slider is frequently found moving away from water and between ponds. Sliders generally come up for food in early March to as late as the end of April. They live in a variety of aquatic habitats, but are most common in ponds and slow-moving waters with an abundance of aquatic vegetation. Usually they are found in habitats with abundant grasses and forbs at ground level, and often in areas with sandy or loamy soils where the turtles can dig easily. The feet of the box turtle are stout and used for digging and walking on land. Their tails are long and relatively smooth. They feed on aquatic plants, aquatic insects, snails and other invertebrates. They will quickly destroy any captive housing setup. When the temperature begins to drop again, however, they quickly return to a brumation state. In any case, a calcium supplement, such as cuttlebone, should be provided for captive turtles — they will nibble on it as they desire. Yellow Mud Turtle Kinosternon flavescens This is a small turtle that grows to about five inches in length. In addition, they will accept romaine lettuce and other greens. In the western U. Alligator Snapping Turtles have very large heads and long necks that cannot be completely withdrawn into their shells. The family Kinosternidae is represented by four species of relatively small aquatic turtles known as musk or mud turtles — the Yellow Mud Turtle Kinosternon flavescens , Mississippi Mud Turtle Kinosternon subrubrum hippocrepis , Razor-backed Musk Turtle Sternotherus carinatus and the Common Musk Turtle or Stinkpot Sternotherus odoratus. Now, it is illegal in Florida to sell any wild-type red-eared slider, as they interbreed with the local yellow-bellied slider population — Trachemys scripta scripta is another subspecies of pond sliders , and hybrids typically combine the markings of the two subspecies. The higher-domed shell of pond cooters may help prevent the adults from being crushed by large alligators, which they are more likely than river cooters to encounter. Males are much larger than females and frequently exceed 80 to pounds.
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