Southern Maine and extreme southern Ontario west to Illinois and south to northern Florida in the east. Isolated colonies can be found in southern Quebec, southern Ontario, central Illinois, central Georgia and north central Florida.
Marshy meadows, bogs, swamps, ponds, ditches, or other small bodies of still water.
State: Not Listed
Federal: Not Listed
Loss of habitat has been largely responsible for the major decline of the spotted turtle throughout parts of its range.Numbers have also declined because this turtle is extremely sensitive to pollution and declining water quality.
The spotted turtle, known for their “polka-dot” shells, can be recognized by yellow or orange spots on its body and the top of the head, and usually on the shell. The number and arrangement of spots is extremely variable and changes with age. Hatchling turtles usually have one spot on each plate, while older individuals are well sprinkled with 100 or more. Occasionally, individuals without any spots on the shells may be found,
The size of a full-grown adult ranges from 3 1/2 to 5 inches. Their diet consists mainly of worms, spiders, slugs, and snails, most of them found above water or on the water’s edge. However, they also feed on small crustaceans found in the water. During the day Spotted Turtles can be observed eating, in the vening, they will submerges and spend the night on the pond bottom.
The breeding season is in early spring, from March to May. In June, female spotted turtles leave the water to find sandy nesting sites. They dig a hole and lay small clutches of eggs. They cover the eggs by dragging their body over the nest to smooth the dirt covering and return to the water. When the young turtles hatch in 10-12 weeks, they dig themselves out and head to the water.
Spotted turtles reach sexual maturity at 8 to 10 years of age. The life span is at least 25 years and some individuals may live until they’re 50 years old.
Did You Know?
Female spotted turtles can “store” sperm obtained from the males and use it as many as five years later to produce healthy, fertile eggs.