Quick Note: Most turtle subspecies are very similar, so besides some few differences in color it’s possible that everything else about them to be the same. So they can be usually seen in rivers, slow moving streams, lakes and ponds. Where it lives: As the name implies Mud turtles prefer to stay in water bodies that have a soft bottom, composed of either sand or mud. Diet: They are omnivorous, this means that their diet is made out of a variety of things like: meat, fish, insects, snails, fruits, vegetables, and aquatic vegetation. Diet: Mud turtles are omnivorous, this means that they will eat meat, snails, fish, insects, as well as fruits, vegetables, and other kinds of vegetation. There are approximately 330 species of turtle in the world, 17 of which are found in Illinois: Emydidae - Pond and Box Turtles twelve marginal scutes on each side The reason why most turtles end up smelling is because... We are a passionate group of writers and researchers who write about pet turtles and tortoises. The colors usually range from olive-gray to yellow-brown. Female turtles searching for nest sites are often found crossing roads. The most important thing that you have to watch out for when interacting with a wild turtle is the turtle trying to bite you. If you want to know more about turtle hibernation, I’ve written a more in depth article that covers the subject, In this article I cover why turtles hibernate, how hibernation takes place, how aquatic turtles hibernate, how land turtles hibernate, how sea turtles hibernate, what is brumation, and many other important and  interesting things about hibernation: Do Turtles Hibernate? The photo gallery below provides information about several of the turtles that are found in Illinois. With so many options, choosing a pet turtle can be overwhelming. Consider human safety first and use good judgment when attempting to move a turtle, especially off of a road. The shell also has some distinct markings on the edges that can range in color from red, orange or yellow, and any combination of them. Most Commonly-seen Freshwater Turtles in California There are very few species of turtles found in California, so if you see one at the edge of a pond or stream in the majority of the state, it is almost always one of the following three species. Turtles are incredibly unique vertebrates, comprised of between 300 and 400 different species (the exact number is contested), and these belong to three groups that are often mistakenly spoken about interchangeably: true turtles, tortoises, and terrapins. Some small species include the Eastern Box, Southern Painted, Diamondback Terrapins, Spotted and Bog Turtles. Diet: Red Eared Sliders are omnivorous, their diet usually consists of meat, fish, insects, snails, aquatic vegetation, fruits and vegetables. So if you touch a turtle make sure that you have some wet wipes near you, if you don’t you should probably avoid touching it. The skin of the False Map Turtle is usually covered with thin yellow-white stripes. Usually turtles know how to choose a good spot to hibernate, so they are probably just fine. The biggest problems facing the loggerhead are entanglement in commercial gear for fishing and the loss of many of their nesting sites. Overall I strongly suggest you not to do this, it can be very dangerous for the ecosystem and for the turtles as well. If you want to touch the turtle you can usually do that, but you have to take a few cautionary measures. ( Including Food Lists ). Where it lives: Blanding’s turtles usually inhabit clean shallow waters with soft bottoms and abundant vegetation. Smaller turtles can be lifted safely with one or two hands from the back (tail end) of the shell. On the upper part of the shell they also have a small vertebral keel. Chelydra serpentina: Snapping Turtle: Macrochelys temminckii: Alligator Snapping Turtle: Chrysemys picta: Painted Turtle: Clemmys guttata: Spotted Turtle But if you have a question about something that you couldn’t find in the article you should leave a comment, I will do my best to answer it as soon as possible. You are most likely to see turtles out and about between May and October. Loggerhead Sea Turtles. Identification. These beautiful types of turtles were once regarded as a delicacy of the sea. The conservation status of a species shows how close a species is to extinction. It is best to allow turtle eggs to incubate and hatch (60 to 90 days depending on the turtle species) where the female laid them. Small species, such as the spotted turtle (Clemmys guttata), may lay only three to five eggs in a nest, while the larger snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) lays 20 to 40 eggs. Description: The Eastern Box Turtles have a very dome-like shaped shell that ranges in color from brown to black. Diet: Omnivorous. The lower part of the shell  is usually colored yellow. Every state in the US has different laws regarding native turtles and turtles in general. Female aquatic turtles and box turtles may nest in mulch and flowerbeds. All turtle traps must have a functional escape hole provided with a minimum diameter in all directions of 7-1/2 inches to allow passage of fish and small turtles. The shell lacks any distinct bumps or coloration. Their carapace can include shades of black, gray, green, brown, or yellow. Additionally, the Prairie Research Institute’s Illinois Natural History Survey has an Identification Key to help people figure out what species turtle they have found. The female produce eggs in the range of 10-50 at one go. If you want to take the turtle home as a pet, you first have to make sure that it’s legal to do so. The skin is usually dark brown or yellow, with the exception of the neck which is yellow. The color of the shell and the skin is usually very similar and it can usually be dark brown or balck. Description: The Mississippi Map Turtle is usually colored, olive, brown or black. If you are a nonresident of Iowa you can only take common snapping turtles, softshells and painted turtles from the Missouri, Mississippi and Big Sioux rivers. The lower side of the shell is usually light colored. Another distinguishable feature of the Common Musk turtle can be found on its head in the form of two light colored stripes. (With 20 Examples and Pictures). Turtles In Kentucky. Every year TurlteOwner.com makes the world a better place for thousands of pet turtles, but right now we are having trouble keeping the site online. How big it can get: Common Musk turtles are very small, they usually reach sizes between 3 and 4.5 inches. How big it can get: Most of them reach sizes between 8 and 12 inches, but it’s not uncommon to find females that reach sizes bigger than that, sometimes even 15 inches. Reproduction: The nesting season usually starts in March and ends in June. The shell usually has markings on the side that can vary in color from red to yellow. Not evaluated (NE) – Has not yet been evaluated against the criteria. Illinois has its own set of laws that are different from any other state. Snapping turtles can be dangerous for an inexperienced person to handle. Reproduction: The nesting period starts in May and ends in July. How long it can live: Between 50 and 100 years. Even if at the moment there are a lot of individuals of a species, there can be some changes in their environment that will drastically affect the species. Those species are usually brought to that region by humans. Pet turtles require lots of time, care and attention! 6 Missouri’s Turtles Illinois mud turtle. The skin is usually covered in multiple yellow spots. Besides the shape of the shell, the other most recognizable element is the pattern of the shell and skin, the pattern of the Eastern Box turtles can vary from individual to individual but it can usually be described as a lot of spots or blobs, that are colored yellow, red or orange. Two kinds of snapping turtles occur in North America, and both of them can be found in Illinois. The lower part of the shell is usually a yellow. One female can have up to 25 offspring in a single year. As the map turtles get older the pattern and the knobs start to slowly disappear, up to a point where they are beary visible. But those turtle species are not distributed evenly, so most states won’t always be home to the same turtle species, even if they are very close. These turtles are light tan in color and their shells, as their name suggests, feature a ridge along the top. Least concern (LC) – Lowest risk; does not qualify for a higher risk category. Reproduction: Nesting period starts in May, and ends around the end of July. Be careful not to be scratched by the nails on the turtle’s hind feet. A turtle can cost anywhere between $10 and $100... Do Turtles Smell? Mating of this species takes place yearly. Reproduction: The nesting period takes place between May and July. Save my name and email in this browser for the next time I comment. This is a list of turtles, ordered alphabetically and grouped by Placing a wire basket (with a top) over the nest site can protect the nest from predators such as raccoons and opossums. Description: The Mississippi Mud Turtle has an upper shell that is usually colored dark brown or black. What to Expect and How to Prevent, Alligator Snapping Turtle (Macroclemys temminckii), Common Map Turtle (Graptemys geographica), Common Musk Turtle (Sternotherus odoratus), Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina), Eastern Mud Turtle (Kinosternon subrubrum), Eastern Spiny Softshell (Apalone spinifera), False Map Turtle (Graptemys pseudogeographica), Hieroglyphic River Cooter (Pseudemys concinna hieroglyphica), Yellow Mud Turtle (Kinosternon flavescens), Midland Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta marginata), Midland Smooth Softshell (Apalone mutica mutica), Mississippi Map Turtle (Graptemys pseudogeographica kohnii), Mississippi Mud Turtle (Kinosternon subrubrum hippocrepis), Ouachita Map Turtle (Graptemys ouachitensis), Red Eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans), Southern Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta dorsalis), Western Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta bellii), What to Do If You Find a Wild Native Turtle, You Can Help Us Keep TurtleOwner.com Alive, What Do Turtles Eat ? Many are crushed by vehicles while they are crossing roads. Where it lives: They generally prefer water streams, but they can also be found in lakes, ponds and manmade environments. The skin is usually covered with long and thin stripes that are also light colored. The upper shell has a pattern that is similar to a map, hence the name Ouachita Map Turtle. How long it can live: Between 60 and 70 years. Welcome to the site and we hope you find what you’re looking for. Where it lives: Map turtles can be found in waters that are stagnant or slow moving, and that have a lot of vegetation. The skin of the Midland Painted turtle is usually covered with lines that are yellow near the head, and then changing to red. Turtles can do a lot of good things to an area, they can keep certain insect populations under control, they can eat the overwhelming vegetation, of a lake, that got out of control, and there are a lot of other beneficial things that they can do. Their preferred prey includes fish, crayfish, and other aquatic invertebrates. Additionally, the Prairie Research Institute’s Illinois Natural History Survey has an Identification Key to help people figure out what species turtle they have found. How big it can get: Most Painted turtles reach sizes between 5 and 7 inches. What you can do if you find a native wild turtle really depends on your intentions. You can support our site and thousands of other turtle owners by contributing with a small donation. The shell has one distinct feature and that is a ridge that traverses the entire length of the shell. Males usually reach sizes between 5 and 9 inches, while females reach sizes between 12 and 20 inches. The amount of time it takes the eggs to hatch is around 80 days. Illinois Natural History Survey. If you find our articles helpful, and you like our site we would like to ask for your help. A lot of people believe that turtles smell bad, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Reproduction: Nesting season starts in March and ends in Late May, early June. The Illinois Herp Code regulates the keeping of venomous snakes or boas and pythons in captivity. Reproduction: Nesting season starts in March and ends in June. And they have a pronounced beak-like mouth. The lower side of the shell is usually red and has a has one or multiple dark markings in the center. Description: Blanding’s Turtle has a considerably more dome-like shaped shell than most turtles. How long it can live: Between 60 and 80 years. Where it lives: Unlike most turtles, Box turtles live on land instead of water. How long it can live: Between 30 and 50 years. The long tail of a snapping turtle should not be used to lift the turtle, since the weight of the body can sever the turtle’s spine. THe lower part of the shell is usually yellow, orange or red with a black pattern. Turtles (order Testudines), including tortoises, are reptiles with bodies encased in bony shells. Alien species can be added to an area to help with certain ecological problems, or by mistake. Their diet consists of mussels, plants and insects. Description: The Common Musk Turtle has a very plain appearance with very consistent colors. Where it lives: They are often found in slow-moving streams, creeks, lakes, ponds and marshes with a fresh and warm water supply. Description: The Eastern Spiny Softshell has a leather like shell that is very round and flattened, when comparing it to other turtles. Description: The color of the Ouachita Map Turtle is usually, olive, brown or black. If a turtle must be moved, there are several steps that you should take to minimize impacts on the turtle. As the Ouachita Map Turtles age the map pattern, as well as the keel become less pronounced. Several types of musk turtles make excellent pets, but the razorback musk turtle is the most popular. It is illegal to take turtles from the La Rue-Pine Hills/Otter Pond Research Area in Union County. How big it can get: They usually reach sizes between 5 and 7 inches. The scientific name of this turtle is Terrapene Carolina Carolina. It breeds across Canada from Coast to Coast and in the winter returns to most forested areas west of the Rocky Mountains. The upper shell has a pattern that is similar to a map, hence the name Mississippi Map Turtle. Most states, including Illinois, have laws that protect wild native turtles. The skin is usually covered with yellow stripes. Laws About Wild Turtles in Illinois . If it’s winter or close to winter there is a chance that you can find a hibernating turtle. Reproduction: Nesting season usually starts in late May and lasts until August. TurtleOwner.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Green Sea Turtle. 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