Texas, Smith County, Sabine River
Photograph by Sheri A. Sanders


Description: A medium sized turtle with adult males reaching 5.75 inches (14.6 cm) and adult females 10.75 inches (27.3 cm) in carapace length. The head is small head w/yellow oval behind each eye and two below. 5-9 yellow stripes extend alongside  neck reaching orbit and oval; Brown carapace with posterior serrations. Plastron creamy yellow with dark seams and notched at the rear.  Some populations may demonstrate a difference in coloration with red replacing some of the yellow (Sanders and Coleman, 2010). Juveniles have a serrated keel with black tips that become smoother with age. Males have claws on the front feet that are slightly longer than those of the female. However, during courtship they tend to use the backsides of their wrists to strum the water alongside the side of the female's head instead of the claws.

Distribution: Bodies of water affiliated with Sabine and Neches rivers in the eastern fifth of the state



















Diet:  Various aquatic invertebrates mostly insects and mollusks

Cagle, Fred R. 1953. Two new subspecies of Graptemys pseudogeographica. Occ. Pap. Mus.Zool. Univ. Michigan, No. 546: 1-17 

Sanders, S.A., J. L. Coleman and J.S. Placyk Jr. 2010. Graptemys ouachitenensis sabinensis (Sabine map turtle) Coloration. Herpetological Review 41 (2). Pp 214
SABINE MAP TURTLE (Graptemys sabinensis)(CAGLE, 1953)
Images from CT scan of male Graptemys sabinensis skull
A basking adult female
Hardin County
Orange County
Van Zandt County
Panola County