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

North Carolina is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including several species of turtles. Here are 5 types of turtles commonly found in the state:

1. Eastern Box Turtle

The Eastern box turtle is a land-dwelling turtle that is found in a variety of habitats, including forests, fields, and wetlands. It has a distinctive high-domed shell with yellow or brown markings. The Eastern box turtle is an omnivore that feeds on insects, plants, and small animals.

2. Painted Turtle

The painted turtle is a colorful turtle that is commonly found in ponds 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.

3. Snapping Turtle

The snapping turtle is a large and aggressive turtle that is commonly found in 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.

4. Musk Turtle

The musk turtle is a small turtle that is commonly found in 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.

5. Slider Turtle

The slider turtle is a common turtle that is found in ponds, lakes, and other bodies of water. It has a smooth, olive-colored shell with distinctive red markings on its head and neck. The slider turtle is an omnivore that feeds on insects, plants, and small animals.

When identifying turtles in North Carolina, 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.