Eastern painted turtle (Photo by Greg Schechter)
There are three subspecies of painted turtle in Canada: eastern, western and midland.
The largest of the three is the western subspecies, which grow up to 25 centimetres. All painted turtles have a dark carapace with red markings on the edge of the shell and yellow stripes on the head and neck.
Range and habitat
Painted turtles can be found across southern Canada. They range from Nova Scotia to British Columbia, but are not often found in the prairies.
These turtles can be found living in ponds, marshes, lakes or creeks with slow moving water with a soft bottom. They enjoy basking in the sun but also require dense vegetation to hide from predators.
Pacific coast: Endangered
Intermountain: Special concern
Western boreal (Canadian shield): Not at risk