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Reptiles

 

Pond and Marsh Turtles

Painted turtle, Chrysemys picta.
Painted turtle,
Chrysemys picta
.

Class: Reptiles
Order: Turtles
Family: Pond and Marsh Turtles

Species found in the Rideau River:
Painted turtle, Blanding's turtle, map turtle

Characteristics of the family:
There are generally twelve scales along the outer edge of either side of the shell over its back. With the one at the nape, the number of scales around the edge totals 25. The shell is sometimes adorned with coloured designs, and the head and limbs are entirely red, orange or yellow.

Representative species: Painted turtle
Description Its smooth black or brownish shell has a red stripe down the centre of the back. The upper edges of the scales have red markings. The breastplate has a dark centre marking.
Size Length: 10 to 18 cm
Distribution The subspecies found in the Rideau River is found in southern Quebec and Ontario.
Habitat Ponds, marshes, rivers and lakes. It likes to sun on logs, rocks and stumps that stick out of the water.
Food Plants and small animals.
Life cycle The female lays from 2 to 20 eggs.
Interesting facts In Canada, the painted turtle is usually the most common turtle in its area.

 

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Painted turtle, Chrysemys picta.
Painted turtle,
Chrysemys picta.
A Project of the Canadian Museum of Nature
 Images: Canadian Museum of Nature