Spotted Turtle

Female Spotted Turtle Photo Credit: Scott Gillingwater

Clemmys guttata

Status:

  • COSEWIC – Endangered.
  • COSSARO – Endangered.

Description:

  • Small turtle, adult body length of up to 13 cm. (5 in.).
  • Dark turtles with yellow ‘polka’ dots covering their carapace, head and limbs.
  • Undersides of limbs are often yellow, orange or reddish.
  • Males have a brownish chin with brown eyes, while females have a yellowish chin with orange eyes.

Habitat:

  • A variety of wetlands, including ponds, marshes, bogs and streams.

Food:

  • Aquatic insects, invertebrates, carrion and some plants are eaten.

Habits:

  • Hibernate both separately and communally under water, from late October to March.
  • Emerge from hibernation before other turtles as they can withstand the cooler temperatures. May become dormant (a resting or sleeping state) during heat waves in the summer.

Reproduction:

  • Mating occurs from March to April, and possibly a second time in the fall.
  • In late June, clutches of approximately 5 flexible eggs are laid in a hole made in the sand.
  • Hatching occurs late August to September. Nest temperature will determine the sex of the turtle.
  • Nearly round hatchlings are 2.5cm in size and often have one spot on each scute.
  • Reach maturity between 10 and 15 years.

Threats:

  • Habitat loss, road mortality and collection for the pet trade are the major factors in their decline.

Conservation Actions:

  • Please report any sightings of Spotted Turtles to the Parry Sound Ministry of Natural Resources.
  • Protection of even small wetlands will be important for this turtle.

For more information on the Spotted Turtle
http://www.speciesatrisk.gc.ca/search/speciesDetails_e.cfm?SpeciesID=285

For more information in Parry Sound District, please contact

Ecologist
Georgian Bay Islands National Park
901 Wye Valley Road
Midland, ON
L4R 4K6
705-526-9804

SAR Biologist
Parry Sound OMNR
7 Bay St.
Parry Sound
P2A 1S4
705-746-4201

Spotted Turtle Hatchling Photo Credit: Kenton Otterbein

Spotted Turtle Plastron Photo Credit: Anna Lawson