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False Map Turtle Graptemys pseudogeographica


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False Map Turtle
credit: Vincent De Groot

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Alternate name: Mississippi Map Turtle

Family: Emydidae, Pond and Box Turtles view all from this family

Description Carapace features a row of low spines, and is serrated on the rim. The carapace olive-brown with light yellowish markings with dark borders. Plastron varies from cream to yellow and is patterned with dark lines along the seams in juveniles.

Dimensions 8.9-14.6cm. (3 1/2-5 3/4"). Females- 12.7-27.3cm. (5-10 3/4")

Subspecies False Map Turtle (G. p. pseudogeographica), Up to 7 neck stripes. Eye has yellow mark. North Dakota, South Dakota Missouri River Valley. Also Nebraska, iowa and upper Mississippi River.
Missississippi Map Turtle (G. p. kohnii), Neck stripes don't reach eye because of yellow mark behind eye. Eyes white with black pupil; Mississippi River basin, Iowa, Illinois, along Gulf to Kansas & Oklahoma.

Breeding May-July. 1-3 clutches, 6-13 eggs in a clutch laid over several days. Eggs small, 38mm (1 1/2") with leathery shell. Hatch in fall.

Habitat Rivers, lakes, ponds, estuaries and reservoirs.

Range North Dakota Missouri River Valley, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, along Mississippi River to Gulf coast, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.

Discussion Pollution has affected populations. Does not live very long in captivity. Basks in the sun. Feeds mainly on aquatic plants, insects and crustaceans. Very shy, difficult to approach. Very communal when around other turtles. Will share its space with them, and use each other to watch for predators.