diamondback terrapin

Diamondback Terrapin

Malaclemys terrapin

CLASS Reptilia | ORDER Testudines | FAMILY Emydidae

RANGE Eastern and Gulf coasts of the U.S., from Maine to Texas

HABITAT Brackish waters of coastal marshes, estuaries, tidal flats and lagoons

DIET Worms, crabs, snails and fish

Male Size
4 - 6 in

Female Size
6 - 9 in

60 - 85 days

3 - 18 eggs

IUCN Status
diamondback terrapin

The diamondback terrapin is the only species of turtle in North America that spends its life in brackish water. Their flattened shell and webbed feet aid in swimming.

Active during the day, the diamondback terrapin spends its time basking on land and finding food.

Female terrapins come on shore in June and July to make their nests and lay 3 to 18 eggs.

diamondback terrapin

They face threats from habitat loss and degradation. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, were hunted nearly to extinction for their meat, which was considered a gourmet delicacy.