Florida Softshell Turtle

Apalone feroxFlorida Softshell

Description:  Females regularly exceed a foot in carapace length.  Males most often measure 6 to 10 inches long at maturity.  A yellow to olive-yellow band edges the carapace.  The plastron is dark olive-gray and the dark head is spotted and striped with yellow.

Range:  Common in quiet waters throughout Florida

Habitat:  This turtle chooses non-flowing waters for its home.  It is common in ponds, lades, canals, ditches, swamps, marshes, and other habitats.

Wild: Fish, insects, frogs, crustaceans, and occasionally small water birds
Zoo: Fish, crickets, and turtle pelleted diet

Reproduction:  On average females lay 10 to 25 eggs per clutch.  The nest is constructed in a sandy location and may be only a few feet from the water.

Fun Fact:  The largest female on record to date measured 24.75 inches long.