Florida Snapping Turtle

Chelydra serpentina osceola

Range: Florida panhandle

Description: The Florida snapping turtle grows to a length of approximately 17 inches long and can weigh up to 45 pounds. In order to tell them apart from the common snapping turtle, one must observe the long, pointed tubercles on the neck and head. On a common snapper, these tubercles would appear small and rounded. They are gray in color with spiked skin and modified scales on the tail and forearms.

Habitat: Freshwater pools, ponds, lakes as well as brackish (a mix of fresh and salt water) tide pools. It prefers water with a soft mud bottom and aquatic vegetation or an abundance of submerged brush and tree limbs.

Diet:
Wild: fish, frogs, small mammals, birds, crayfish, snakes
Zoo: pelleted diet, fish and crickets

Reproduction: Females can lay up to 83 eggs in one clutch; however 20-30 eggs are common. The larger the female, the more eggs she is able to produce. Incubation takes 55-125 days depending on environmental conditions.

Fun Fact: Snappers rarely bask in the sun as most other turtles do.