5 Types of Turtles Found in Michigan: A Guide to Identify Them

Michigan is a state known for its natural beauty, which includes a variety of wildlife. Here are the 5 types of turtles commonly found in Michigan:

1. Painted Turtle

The painted turtle is a colorful turtle that is commonly found in Michigan’s ponds, lakes, and wetlands. It has a smooth, olive-colored shell with red or yellow markings on its neck, legs, and tail. The painted turtle is an omnivore that feeds on insects, plants, and small animals.

2. Snapping Turtle

The snapping turtle is a large and aggressive turtle that is commonly found in Michigan’s ponds, lakes, and rivers. It has a rough, dark shell and can grow up to 20 inches in length. The snapping turtle is known for its strong swimming abilities and its powerful jaws and claws, which it uses for defense and hunting.

3. Blanding’s Turtle

Blanding’s turtle is a medium-sized turtle that is found in Michigan’s wetlands and marshes. It has a smooth, dome-shaped shell with yellow markings on its head and neck. The Blanding’s turtle is an omnivore that feeds on insects, plants, and small animals.

4. Spiny Softshell Turtle

The spiny softshell turtle is a unique turtle that is commonly found in Michigan’s rivers, streams, and lakes. It has a smooth, flattened shell with a leathery texture and a long, pointed nose. The spiny softshell turtle is an omnivore that feeds on insects, fish, and aquatic plants.

5. Musk Turtle

The musk turtle is a small turtle that is commonly found in Michigan’s rivers, streams, and wetlands. It has a smooth, dark shell and can grow up to 5 inches in length. The musk turtle is known for its strong musky odor and the ability to secrete a foul-smelling liquid when threatened. The musk turtle is an omnivore that feeds on insects, plants, and small animals.

When identifying turtles in Michigan, it’s important to consider their physical characteristics, habitat, and behavior. If you encounter a turtle in the wild, be sure to admire it from a safe distance and avoid disturbing it or its habitat.