Western Painted Turtle

Chrysemys picta bellii

Description: The Western Painted Turtle is the largsest of the painted turtle subspecies, growing up to 7 inches with a record of nearly 10 inches. Light lines appear on the olive-brown colored carapace (top shell) while much of the plastron (bottom shell) is covered by a large dark splotch extending over the scutes.

Range: Southwestern Ontario to southern Missouri westward to the Pacific Northwest

Habitat: Shallow water with plenty of aquatic plants and soft bottoms.

Diet:
Wild: Insects, aquatic vegetation, and scavenged carrion.
Zoo: Pelleted turtle diet

Reproduction: These turtles become sexually mature between 3-6 years of age. Females lay 1-4 clutches of up to 25 eggs between May and August.

Fun Fact: Although the natural range extends over the Great Plains to the Pacific Northwest, a few isolated populations exist in the desert Southwest.