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Florida Softshell Turtle

Apalone ferox


These two finally got on the same schedule. :)


Her Helpful Highness the Herper Ashley, are these bathing beauties a Florida Cooter and a Florida Softshell Turtle? Is there a link that differentiates cooters? A lot of them seem to have a yellow triangle on their head. apalone means soft.

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AshleyT 5 years ago

There many kinds of inverts that over-winter in either burrows, under cover, or in little silk nests they make. I bet they will be fine through the freezes, they just won't be out and active for you to photograph. But once it does start warming up in March, there should be plenty out for you to see! Herps in the southern US don't really hibernate either, they just go underground or under cover when it is really cold, then will come up and bask when it is warm again. That is the nice thing about it never being cold for more than a few days at a time :)

dcslaugh 5 years ago

Sorry to hear that. Regarding the weather, Florida is setting records in high temps due to this Super El Niño that is anticipated by NASA and others. I, sigh, expect a colder January than normal and hard freeze in Tampa, FL in February. Given that, do you think that there will be any invertebrates to take pictures of in January in Tampa? I am thinking that a hard freeze (means that all bugs will be dead for months from February on. :( Hopefully, something (grasshoppers, butterflies, dragonflies, etc.) will be back by March, April or May maybe? :( Thank you from all of us for all you and the other rangers do on here :)

AshleyT 5 years ago

Haha you crack me up! I'm jealous you are still seeing herps!

dcslaugh 5 years ago

A thousand pardons, O Esteemed One, I have corrected my blunder above. Thank you for the info!

AshleyT 5 years ago

Hahahaha, but Hymenoptera is an order of insects! Those definitely aren't my specialty ;)

Yes a Florida softshell, and most likely a Florida cooter. The differences between the cooters are very minimal, it usually requires a side view of the head and a clear shot of the side of the shell without algae on it....which you really have no control over haha. Here's a link that somewhat explains the differences in a few of the species. They are certainly tough!

Spotted by

Spotted on Dec 16, 2015
Submitted on Dec 18, 2015

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