Monday, July 6, 2015

My Cousin: Yellow-Blotched Map Turtle

The Yellow-Blotched Map Turtle, or yellow-blotched sawback, is a species of turtle in the Emydidae family. It is part of the narrow-headed group of map turtles. It is endemic to the southern United States and is limited to the Pascagoula River of Mississippi and most of its tributaries.

Yellow-blotched map turtles are medium to small-sized turtles, with males ranging from 3.5 to 4.5 inches in carapace length as adults. Adult females are larger, about 5 to 7.5 inches in carapace length. The yellow-blotched map turtle has the highest central keel of all map turtles.

Yellow-blotched map turtles feed mostly on insects, but are opportunistic feeders and also consume crustaceans and fish they also eat some fresh greens.

This species is listed as Threatened under the US Endangered Species Act due to a recent decline. This can be attributed to a low reproductive frequency as compared with most other map turtles. A high level of nest mortality due to fish crow predation and river flooding are also attributed to endangerment.