Category Archives: Turtle

Francine the Florida Softshell Turtle

Francine out for a walk between the creek and the house:

Nose

Species Profile: Florida Softshell (Apalone ferox) | SREL Herpetology

Like other softshells, the Florida softshell turtle (Apalone ferox) is a large, flat turtle with skin covering its shell (resembling a pancake). It is the bulkiest of the softshell turtles but inhabits the smallest range. It varies in size with males measuring from 6-12 inches (15-30 cm) and females measuring double that at 11-24 inches (28-61 cm). Adults are usually colored by a dark brown to brownish-gray with dark spots. Also there are usually small dark bumps on the carapace. In juveniles these dark bumps on the carapace are much more easily seen, as they are usually lighter in color than the adults. The carapace of the Florida softshell is covered with longitudinal rows of tubercles that resemble ridges in younger turtles but are less evident in larger turtles. In adult turtles the plastron of the shell usually extends farther than the carapace.
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Turtle eggs, Okra Paradise Farms, 21 June 2012

Well, that field turtle did lay eggs. Unfortunately something ate them:

Turtle eggs, Okra Paradise Farms: Unfortunately something ate them
John S. Quarterman, Gretchen Quarterman, Brown Dog, Yellow Dog,
Pictures by John S. Quarterman for Okra Paradise Farms, Lowndes County, Georgia, 21 June 2012

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Turtle, Okra Paradise Farms, 19 June 2012

Walking along a drainage ditch with the dogs, Gretchen saw this interesting turtle:

John S. Quarterman, Gretchen Quarterman,
Brown Dog, Yellow Dog,
Lowndes County, Georgia, 19 June 2012.
Pictures by John S. Quarterman for Okra Paradise Farms.

We think it’s probably a slider turtle, Trachemys scripta, but it’s hard to be sure. We didn’t pick it up, because it appeared to be laying eggs.

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Big slider turtle, Okra Paradise Farms, 10 June 2012

The dogs alerted us to something in the woods near the house. Here it was, climbing a branch:

Big slider turtle, Okra Paradise Farms, 10 June 2012
John S. Quarterman, Gretchen Quarterman,
Brown Dog, Yellow Dog,
Pictures by John S. Quarterman for Okra Paradise Farms.

It's a slider turtle, Trachemys scripta. Here it is in corn silk (we'd just been shucking corn):

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