A smallto medium-sized (most carapace size 10 in [25 cm]) turtle with a darkish olive to black carapace. The higher and decrease surfaces of the marginals are adorned with a sample of purple markings. The plastron could also be plain yellow, yellow with a central sample, or with advanced designs of purple and yellow. The darkish head has a sample of skinny yellow traces and a particular yellow spot behind the attention in most subspecies. The males are smaller than the females and have lengthy claws on the forelimbs.
This widespread species is discovered from southwestern British Columbia to Nova Scotia and all through the central and southern areas of temperate North America. Disjunct populations happen within the U.S. Southwest.
Ponds, streams, gradual-flowing parts of rivers and estuaries.
By absorbing photo voltaic radiation with their darkish carapaces, painted turtles thermoregulate by basking on nearly any uncovered floor. They bask early within the morning to elevate their physique temperature, forage for food, after which return to basking websites to facilitate digestion. In the northern populations, the juveniles and adults spend a majority of the winter trapped beneath thick ice. This species doesn't readily take up oxygen from the water; subsequently, it should tolerate lengthy durations of hypoxia or anoxia. The mineralized shell buffers the buildup of lactic acid shaped below anaerobic situations to preserve a secure blood pH by the winter. The hatchlings stay inside the shallow nest chamber over the winter and could also be uncovered to temperatures of 10°F (–12°C) or decrease. Although they tolerate freezing at excessive subzero temperatures (e.g., to 25°F [–4°C]), they have to stay supercooled (i.e., with out the tissues freezing) so as to survive colder temperatures.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Omnivorous, feeding upon aquatic vegetation, bugs, tadpoles, small fish, and carrion.
Although particular person females could not reproduce yearly, nesting is annual and seasonal. Courtship and mating happen within the autumn and spring, however nesting normally happens within the spring and early summer season. Females can retailer sperm of their oviducts for years and will not want to mate yearly. The measurement of the elongate, versatile eggs (1.1–1.four in [28–35 mm] lengthy and 0.6–0.9 in [16–23 mm] broad) decreases with growing latitude and clutch measurement. As many as 5, however sometimes one or two, clutches of 1 to 20 eggs are deposited in nests constructed in sand or loamy soil. The eggs hatch after 72 to 80 days of incubation. This species has temperature-associated intercourse dedication, the place males are produced beneath 82°F (28°C) and principally females are produced at greater temperatures. Paternity evaluation utilizing DNA has proven that eggs inside the similar clutch are typically fertilized by multiple male.
Not threatened. This species stays widespread, partly as a result of it tolerates disturbance due to human exercise and its reproductive output is phenomenal.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
The colourful painted turtle hatchlings and adults are sometimes out there within the worldwide pet commerce. As a results of their small measurement and their appreciable overlap with the bigger and presumably extra palatable widespread snapping turtle ( Chelydra serpentina), they're not often eaten by people.