Mississippi Map Turtle
Graptemys kohni

CLASS: Reptilia
ORDER: Chelonia
FAMILY: Emydidae

SIZE:
Males 3.5 - 5 inches; females 6 - 10 inches

RANGE:
Lower and western parts of the Mississippi drainage basin in Louisiana, Arkansas, and Missouri extending to eastern Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.

HABITAT:
Water with abundant aquatic vegetation, places to bask in the sun, and slow currents, all of which include large rivers, lakes, ponds, sloughs, bayous, oxbows and occasionally marshes.

DIET:
Wild - Carnivorous young eat snails and other easily crushed mollusks; omnivorous adults eat plant leaves, stems, roots, as well as mollusks and insect larvae

Zoo - Fish

DESCRIPTION:

  • Olive to brown carapace, with dark brown keel and pattern of circular markings.
  • Plastron is greenish-yellow with an intricate pattern of dark lines; distinctive yellow crescent behind the eye.
  • Numerous light yellow stripes that run longitudinally down the neck; eyes have pure white ring and the pupil is black.
  • Males have longer tail than female and have elongated claws on the front feet; both features used in mating.

FACTS:
Excessively shy, they do not do well in captivity; numbers declining in some areas due to pollution, river channelization, reduction of nest sites, siltation and overkilling, and in some cases, the pet trade.

YOUNG:
Eggs laid in June in open sand areas or in areas with low shrubs; clutch size 2 - 8eggs with larger females lating larger clutches; incubation period 60 - 82 days.

STATUS:
Widespread; common

REFERENCE:
Animal Diversity Web, Museum of Zoology, University