Spotted turtle in exhibit

Spotted Turtle

Scientific Name

Clemmys guttata






Eastern North America and parts of Canada


Marshes and other wetlands

Estimated Wild Population

Spotted turtle in exhibit
IUCN Conservation Status: ENDANGERED IUCN Conservation Status: ENDANGERED

More Information

Physical Description

Spotted turtles have smooth, dark shells peppered with yellow spots. While their head is mostly dark, their face has lighter coloration and a few spots. Males and females differ in appearance. Males are more elongated, with larger tails, while females have rounder carapaces and are slightly larger than males overall. They eat a range of food, from aquatic seeds and greenery to worms, eggs, and carrion.

Interesting Fact 1

The sex of hatchlings is dependent on incubation temperature. Lower temperatures result in male offspring and higher temperatures result in female offspring.

Interesting Fact 2

These smaller turtles are especially vulnerable on land, where they often fall prey to raccoons.

Interesting Fact 3

It takes a decade for these turtles to reach sexual maturity.

Species Survival Plan logo

Species Survival Plan®

We cooperate with other members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to manage the zoo population of this species through a Species Survival Plan®.

Learn More

SAFE: Saving animals From Extinction logo

Saving Animals From Exctinction

AZA SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction focuses the collective expertise within AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums and leverages their audiences to save species.

Learn More

Animal Care staff working with seal

Commitment to Care

Lincoln Park Zoo prioritizes individual well-being over everything else. Guided by scientific research, staff and volunteers work to provide the best welfare outcomes for each individual in the zoo’s care.

Learn More

Support Your Zoo

Two Chilean flamingos in exhibit

Animals Depend On People Too

When you ADOPT an animal, you support world-class animal care by helping to provide specially formulated diets, new habitat elements, and regular veterinary checkups.

Adopt an Animal

Asian small-clawed otter in exhibit

Wish List

The Wish List is full of one-of-a-kind items for the zoo’s animals, including nutritious snacks and enrichment items to keep them active and healthy. 

Browse the Wish List

Take Action With Us

Wildlife face many daunting challenges—some global, like planet-wide climate change, and some that affect individuals, like an animal ingesting plastic—but now is not the time to despair. None of these problems are too big for us to come together and solve.

Learn More