Hi, I am a member of the most handsome turtles in the world, the Eastern Painted Turtles. Come and have a close look at me and you will realize why I am boasting. Our appearance resembles a beautiful hand painted canvas, the reason behind our naming as ‘Painted Turtle’.
Scientifically we are Testudines (Order) under the Class of Reptilia and Phylum Chordata. Animalia is our Kingdom and we belong to a Subfamily Deirochelyinae of the famous Family named Emydidae.
The general binomial name of all the Painted turtle is Chrysemys picta (Schneider, 1783) and we, the Eastern Painted Turtles, are their subspecies and christened as Chrysemys picta picta.
You may find us in the Southern part of Canada through the coastal states along Atlantic and New England, west of east Alabama and down to Georgia.
We prefer to live in the fresh water. The muddy and soft bottom of the slow-flowing rivers, marshes, lakes or ponds gives us extreme comfort. In spite of our hypothermic character, we can survive in a wide range of temperature and basking in the sun is a part of our survival strategy.
Our males grow about 4 – 6″ while females are around 6 – 8″ in length.
Like other turtles we also are shielded within a carapace (upper shell) and a plastron (lower shell). Our carapace is oval and flat with smooth surface as well as the margin. It is olive to black in color with narrow but significant red, yellow or orange stripes from head to tail. Don’t forget to see the yellow border and red crescents or bars on the scute too.
Our plastron is a little less significant. It is yellow-to-cream in color with occasional red or black blotches which differs in size, shape and color from individual to individual.
There are notches on our neck, upper lip and medium sized head. We look extremely fashionable with the large yellow spots on our neck behind two sides of the head and the yellow stripes on the black neck, head, legs and tail. Brilliant, I must say!
Our females lay a clutch of 1 to 23 eggs and the hatchlings come out within 65 to 80 days, provided the temperature remains between 71.6° – 89.6° F. The sex of the hatchlings is dependant upon the temperature. Phew!
We are carnivores and eat fish, worms, insects etc but sometimes we like to nibble on some leafy plants.
We are popular as pets too.
For more information about turtles please visit: Eastern Painted Turtles