smooth softshell turtle illinois

For instance, the Florida softshell turtle can weigh over 40 pounds and reach over 2 feet long, requiring a large area to swim. See Key to Illinois Turtles for help with identification. At roughly half that size, the spiny and smooth softshell turtles are more manageable as pets. They inhabit the Mississippi, Colorado, Sabine and Pearl, Alabama, Brazos, and Escambia river drainage systems. Softshell turtles have a hard bony shell. However, letting a pet turtle that was perhaps from another state/country/region loose in the wild is injurious to not only the animal you are freeing, but also to the local population of animals. A similar but expanded pair of stripes extend posteriorly from eyes onto the neck. The other, the smooth softshell turtle, is a threatened species in Illinois, according to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Spiny softshell turtles have a rough carapace with spines along the front edge while, as the name implies, smooth softshell turtles lack such spines. Compared to other turtle species, the smooth softshell turtles are large. Here, we need to know their conducive habitat, diet, and general physical health. Only the Eastern Spiny Softshell, A. s. spinifera is found in Illinois. Description: Medium-sized (up to 28 cm CL) turtle with tan, brown, or olive carapace with light posterior border. Carapace irregularly patterned with small dark spots or dashes that expand into blotches or mottling in large females. False Map Turtle Graptemys pseudogeographica pseudogeographica. It is most abundant in the latter. Of Illinois’ 60 species of reptiles, perhaps the most highly adapted for an aquatic existence are the state’s two species of softshell turtles—smooth and spiny. The two parts of the turtle shell are the carapace which includes the vertebrae and ribs and the plastron made up of the clavicles (collar bones) and abdominal ribs. 5 specimens, MNHN 564, 4143, 7977, 8813, and 8814. Mus. Smooth Softshells quickly learn to come to feeding and will liven up any tank. The smooth softshell turtle has a smooth, flexible and leather like carapace that is covered by skin instead of the hard scutes commonly observed in other turtle species. Smooth Softshells make very good community turtles. Repair Damage: What to Know Before Making Repairs, Contact an IDNR District Wildlife Biologist, IDNR’s Wild About Illinois Turtles! Subspecies: Two subspecies are currently recognized, Gulf Coast Smooth Softshell, A. m. calvata (Webb, 1959) and Midland Smooth Softshell, A. m. mutica. In 2015, of the state's 17 turtle species, six (the alligator snapping turtle, the spotted turtle, Blanding's turtle, the eastern river cooter, the yellow mud turtle and the smooth softshell turtle) are state endangered and one (the ornate box turtle) is state threatened. The Smooth Softshell inhabits larger rivers and prefers to bask, nest, and conceal itself in sandy areas, like emergent sand bars. Colors. The Midland Smooth Softshell (Apalone mutica mutica) is the only subspecies that occurs in Indiana. Similar Species: Smooth Softshell. Smooth softshell turtle care. Populations appear to be declining in much of the state. The other, the smooth softshell turtle, is a threatened species in Illinois, according to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. … Description: Medium-sized (up to 28 cm CL) turtle with tan, brown, or olive carapace with light posterior border. Click trait name for all matches or numbers for narrower searches (e.g., het only). The plastron (lower shell) is white. Natural History: Males and juveniles congregate in sandy shallows to bury in the substrate and bask along exposed banks. In some locations it may grow to a shell length of 30 inches (77 cm) and a weight of more than 250 pounds (112.5 kilograms). Last week, a concerned fisherman brought this gorgeous softshell turtle to the Wildlife Medical Clinic. Unlike most turtles, the smooth softshell turtle has a smooth, leatherlike, flexible carapace and a long, tubular snout. The spiny softshell is one of the most common turtle species in the Illinois River along with the red-eared slider. Of Illinois’ 60 species of reptiles, perhaps the most highly adapted for an aquatic existence are the state’s two species of softshell turtles—smooth and spiny. It is most abundant in the latter. Vol. Male smooth softshell turtles have thicker tails than females, a trait commonly observed in turtle species. I investigated the spatial ecology of A. mutica in two reaches of the Kaskaskia River in south-central Illinois from 2013-2014. Within river systems, smooth softshell turtles had highest populations in the open side channels and main channels of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers in southern Illinois. Content from Illinois Public Media on Softshell Turtle. The common musk turtle (Sternotherus odoratus) is an aquatic turtle found in mud- ... Illinois has two turtle species not restricted to aquatic habitats and often encountered on land: the eastern box turtle (Ter - Smooth softshell turtles have a tubular snout with round nostrils that are usually positioned inferior, and they lack a septal ridge. Type Specimen: Syntypes. 22 mm diameter) in sand banks or bars from late May into July. As a result, they are more aggressive than many turtle … The Kaskaskia River supports a diverse turtle community, with the spiny softshell and Ouachita map turtle as the main competitors of the smooth softshell. The Smooth Softshell prefers medium-sized to large rivers with moderate to fast flows and compared to 11.4-17.8 cm (4.5-7 in.) 15. They love to bury in sand with just their head exposed waiting to surprise a fish. As the name suggests, the Smooth Softshell Turtle’s carapace does not have any bumps, ridges, or spines - they are flat and leathery with flexible edges. They quickly settle in and will swim about their tanks as much as fish. Small numbers of females and juveniles at one site suggest problems with recruitment in one population; the … The size of this area is 474 m for males and 750 m for young females. Female lays multiple clutches of 6 to 26 round, brittle-shelled eggs (ca. The Smooth Softshell's distribution in Indiana follows major rivers, including the Wabash, Ohio, and Blue. In Asia, turtle is considered a delicacy. These turtles are members of the family Trionychidae, which has a total of two representatives in Indiana. They're excellent swimmers and do well in mostly water tanks, with plants and other under water objects. Key Characters: Anterior edge of carapace lacking spines or tubercles; snout with rounded tip; nostrils lacking horizontal septal projections. The Prairie Research Institute’s Illinois Natural History Survey provides species distribution maps and more natural history information about the spiny softshell turtle and the smooth softshell turtle. Plastron white to cream. The smooth softshell turtle is listed as endangered in Illinois. Spatial ecological information is necessary to guide the conservation efforts of river turtles, but it is lacking for many species including the smooth softshell turtle (Apalone mutica). There are two types of soft-shelled turtle in Illinois. The color will usually range from olive-gray to dark brown. Blanding’s Turtles normally dwell in marshes. Similar Species: Spiny Softshell. That species is one of six that are classified as “state-endangered,” joining the river cooter, smooth softshell, Illinois mud turtle, Blanding’s turtle, and spotted turtle. Relationships among members of Trionychidae, and taxonomy within the clade, are still poorly … The Smooth Softshell differs from the Spiny in being flatter and more circular, and lacking the "spines" on the front of the carapace. Female is more solitary, wanders more, and utilizes deeper water than male. Illinois Mud Turtle Kinosternon flavescens spooneri. smooth softshell (Apalone mutica) and spiny softshell (Apalone spinifera). © 2018–2020 University of Illinois Board of Trustees. Spatial ecological information is lacking for many river turtles including the Smooth Softshell Turtle (Apalone mutica), a species inhabiting the Midwestern United States. website to learn about the spiny softshell turtle (Apalone spinifera) and the smooth softshell turtle (Apalone mutica). Eastern Spiny Softshell Apalone spinifera spinifera. The spiny softshell turtle occurs throughout the state in lakes, sloughs, mud-bottomed streams, and sand-bottomed rivers. website to learn about the spiny softshell turtle (Apalone spinifera) and the smooth softshell turtle (Apalone mutica). The Latest News. Agricultural runoff, siltation, and pollution are probable causes. Chinese softshell turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis) on white. 2001). in males (Conant and Collins 1991). The Smooth Softshell Turtle. For permissions information, contact the Illinois Natural History Survey. The male Smooth Softshell Turtle carapaces only reach half of this length. 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