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North American Wood Turtle

Glyplemys insculpta


Family: Emydidae. Subfamily: Emydinae. Genus: Glyplemys. Length of shell: Up to 9.2 inches (23.4 cm) Entire length head head and tail: up to 14 inches (35.54 cm). Color: Shell is gray, brown, black and orange with central ridge and pyramidal pattern of ridges and grooves (seashell design). Plastron (ventral shell) is yellow/orange with dark patches. Orange on legs and neck. Long sharp claws. Food: Omnivorous. Leaves and flowers of woody plants, berries, slugs, snails, worms and insects. Also young mice and eggs.


Woodlands near brooks and streams.


I was driving on a country road when I observed "something" in the road. I stopped the car when I realized it was a turtle in an unsafe area of the road. I wanted to help it "cross". A few cars and motorcycles went by and I took photos and carefully watched it until it went into the vegetation. This turtle is in serious decline and is uncommon to rare and a species of special concern in the state of Pennsylvania. (See video)

No species ID suggestions


johnlguerin 5 years ago

I wonder if their range extends into Quebec. I will check. It looks like the underside is very colorful.

johnlguerin 5 years ago

Wow! What a beautiful turtle. The patterns and color are great. It is so nice that you were there to help it on a safe journey.

Pennsylvania, USA

Lat: 40.87, Long: -75.61

Spotted on Jul 16, 2013
Submitted on Nov 26, 2013

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