- 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.
- Please report any sightings of spotted turtles to the Parry Sound Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.
- Protection of even small wetlands will be important for this turtle.
- Read the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre’s guide to Turtle Nests and Nest Protection.
- Find an injured turtle? Please see the information on the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre’s website.
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
7 Bay Street
Parry Sound, Ontario