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Pseudemys nelsoni

Florida Redbelly Cooter

Florida distribution: most of peninsular Florida, not found in most of panhandle.

Identification: 34 cm. Not all Red-bellied Turtles have red bellies, especially older animals. They can be identified by the cusps on either side of notched upper jaw and the short stripe on top of head between eyes.

 

Close up of subadult showing the notched upper jaw.

Carapace

The arrows point out some of the black that is still faintly visible on the plastron.

A particularly colorful male Redbelly Cooter.

The same turtle's plastron.

The elongated claws one the front legs are one indication that this is a male. This is a trait found in male turtles in the following genera Chrysemys, Pseudemys, and Trachemys.

Close up of the male showing the large amount of red coloration in the skin and shell.

These were hatched from eggs removed from a roadkilled female. The plastron patterns typically fade and disappear within a few years.

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