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Spotted Turtle

Clemmys guttata

COSEWIC Status: Endangered

COSSARO Status: Endangered

S. Gilingwater


  • 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.


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

Habits and Reproduction

  • 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.
  • 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.


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


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

Conservation Actions

Photo Gallery

Spotted turtle plastron Credit: Anna Lawson

For more information about the Spotted Turtle in the Georgian Bay area, contact:

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
SAR Biologist
7 Bay Street
Parry Sound, Ontario
P2A 1S4
Phone: 705-746-4201

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