Broad-leaved shootingstar (pink flowers) and giant fawnlily (white flowers) at Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve, BC (Photo by NCC)

Broad-leaved shootingstar (pink flowers) and giant fawnlily (white flowers) at Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve, BC (Photo by NCC)

Spotted turtle (Photo by John Mitchell, Figment Films)

Spotted turtle (Photo by John Mitchell, Figment Films)

Spotted turtle

Spotted turtles are a small freshwater species.

Identification

With a small dark carapace decorated with round yellow spots on the shell, neck, head and limbs, the spotted turtle lives up to its name, although newly hatched babies sometimes lack the spots. This species can grow up to 14 centimetres in length.

Males of this species differ from females in appearance, with their brown eyes and tan chins; females have orange eyes and yellow chins.

Range and habitat

Canadian distribution of spotted turtle (Map by NCC)

(Click on the image to enlarge)

In Canada, spotted turtles are only found in southern Ontario and occasionally in southwest Quebec.

The live in bogs, marshes and soft-bottom lakes with quiet water, but may travel short distances overland when it is time for the females to lay eggs.

Conservation status

This species is endangered.

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