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Yellow Mud Turtle Kinosternon flavescens


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Yellow Mud Turtle
credit: Dawson

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Family: Kinosternidae, Musk and Mud Turtles view all from this family

Description Small, olive-colored. Yellow areas on throat, head and on the sides on its neck. The bottom shell is yellow to brown with two hinges, allowing the turtle to close each end separately. The male's tail has a blunt spine, female's does not.

Dimensions 9-16.2cm. (3 1/2-6 3/8")

Subspecies Yellow Mud Turtle- Lower jaw, throat & carpace yellow. Nebraska, Texas to New Mexico and Arizona.
Illinois Mud Turtle - Brown carapace, greyish skin. Yellow lower jaw. Illinois. Isolated in Iowa and Missouri.

Breeding June. 1 clutch per year, 1-6 eggs per clutch. Eggs have hard shells, elliptical shape. Mature at 6-7 years.

Similar Species Arizona, similar olive carapace and chin/throat yellow. Formerly thought to be a subspecies. Found Arizona & Mexico.

Habitat Slow moving freshwater.

Range Nebraska, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. Also Mexico.

Discussion Forages on land during dawn and twilight. Worms, anthropoids and snails form the main diet. Also small frogs. Hides under brush, leaf litter, mud and vegetation in winter. Very shy. Rarely bite if disturbed.