OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Common musk turtle; French: Sternothère odorant; German: Gewöhnliche Moschusschildkröte.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

This is a small kinosternid turtle (most shell size 5.four in [13.7 cm]) with two mild stripes on either side of the top (typically noticed in previous people) and with barbels on the chin and the throat. The plastron is decreased, has 11 epidermal scutes, a single weakly movable anterior hinge, and a pectoral scute with a quadrangular form.

DISTRIBUTION

Ranges in North America from New England and southern Ontario to Wisconsin and south by means of Texas and Florida.

HABITAT

This turtle inhabits practically any everlasting physique of recent water, however prefers ponds or lakes with muddy bottoms and in depth submergent vegetation.

BEHAVIOR

It is mostly noticed foraging alongside the underside, however is usually seen basking as excessive as 7 ft (2 m) above the water on the boles of bushes in wooded (and therefore shaded) aquatic habitats. It hardly ever leaves the water besides to bask or nest. It hibernates at excessive latitudes, however is lively 12 months-spherical within the south.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

These turtles choose animal food (e.g., earthworms, snails, clams, crayfish, crabs, bugs, tadpoles, fish, and fish eggs) and even scavenge on useless animals. However, in addition they usually feed on algae and aquatic vegetation (notably seeds). They have maybe probably the most generalized food regimen of all kinosternids.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Courtship and mating apparently can happen any time the turtles are lively, with peaks within the spring and autumn. Nesting happens within the spring, earlier and longer within the south (February to July) than within the north (May to July). Some females merely drop their eggs in leaf litter, whereas others dig nicely-shaped nests up to four in (10 cm) deep. The eggs are very small and elliptical (0.9–1.2 0.5–0.7 in [22–31 13–17 mm]) with white, porcelain-like eggshells. The clutch dimension ranges from one to 9 (usually two to 5) and tends to enhance with the feminine’s physique dimension. As many as 4 clutches could also be laid annually within the south, however one or two is the norm farther north. Hatchlings emerge in the summertime or autumn after about 65 to 85 days of incubation and transfer immediately to the water.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened. This species is so widespread and reaches such excessive densities that human affect has largely been by way of habitat loss (e.g., draining swamps or ponds).

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

Exploited by people solely minimally for the pet commerce.