North American Wood Turtle

Glyptemys insculpta

House Name: Woody

Description: Wood turtles have a gray or brown carapace (upper shell)  which may reach up to 9 inches in length. The plastron (lower shell) is yellow with dark spots on each scute. The skin is dark brown usually with red or orange pigmentation on the back of the neck and front legs.

Range: Nova Scotia south to northern Virginia and west to southern Ontario and from New York to northeastern Ohio, Michigan, eastern Minnesota, and northern Iowa.

Habitat: Wood turtles are mostly terrestrial. They can be found in deciduous forests, woodland bogs, and marshy fields.

Wild: Mollusks, worms,  insects, carrion, and plant matter
Zoo: chopped vegetable/fruit diet, earthworms, crickets, minnows, and an occassional rodent

Reproduction: Wood turtles breed from March to October. Nesting takes place from May to June with females laying a clutch of  4-18 eggs in sandbars, riverbanks, or hillsides, which hatch in about 58-80 days.

Fun Fact: Wood turtles have a unique method of hunting worms. They have been known to stomp their front feet on the ground to imitate the sound of rain. This causes the worms to surface where they are quickly eaten.