USGS - science for a changing world

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

  Home About NPWRC Our Science Staff Employment Contacts Common Questions About the Site

Reptiles and Amphibians of North Dakota

Western Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta belli)

species distribution map JPG -- Species Photo


Painted turtles are the most widespread turtles throughout the United States. The undersides or plastrons of the painted turtle shells are what give these turtles their name. They are very brightly colored with a large black patch mottled with yellow on a red background. The backs or carapaces of painted turtles vary from black, to greenish or brown, and may contain a few light yellow lines on each plate. Distinctive yellow stripes adorn the head and neck. They are easily recognized while basking in the sun on rocks, stumps, or trees half submerged in water. They are very cautious and dive into the water when threatened.

Their diet includes worms, minnows, and aquatic insects.

Painted turtles mate in the spring and fall. In June or early July females dig nests in the soil with their hind legs, in which they lay 5-15 eggs. The eggs hatch in about 10 weeks.


Previous Section-- Smooth Softshell Turtle
Return to Contents
Next Section-- Bullsnake

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo USA.gov logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
URL: http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/herps/amrepnd/species/chrypict.htm
Page Contact Information: Webmaster
Page Last Modified: Saturday, 02-Feb-2013 05:03:14 EST
Reston, VA [vaww55]