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Midland Painted Turtle Fact Sheet

  • Latin Name

    Chrysemys picta marginata
  • Class

  • Order

  • Range

    Southern Canada to northern Mexico.

  • Status

    Midland painted turtles are one of the most common turtles in North America.

  • Habitat

    The species favors still, shallow freshwater habitats that have a thick layer of mud beneath the water.

  • Niche

    Pained turtles feed on plants and small animals such as fish, crustaceans and insects. They feed in the water, using powerful jaws to grip their food. During the day, they can often be found basking in the sun on exposed rocks and logs. Absorbed sunlight helps to fuel the species

  • Life History

    Midland painted turtles often spend winter burrowed in mud beneath the pond surface, entering a state of lowered activity to survive the cold weather. They mate upon becoming active again in spring. Females lay 4-15 eggs in a sandy hole excavated for that purpose. The sexes of the hatchlings are dependent on temperature during incubation; low temperatures result in males and high temperatures result in females. The young dig themselves out after hatching and are immediately independent.

  • Special Adaptations

    The Midland painted turtle is able to defend itself against predators by withdrawing its head and limbs within its shell.


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