IDENTIFICATION: 2.5-8.4 inches (6.4-21.4cm). The carapace is oval-shaped from a the dorsal perspective with the widest part just above the hind legs. The posterior marginals are serrated and the carapacial scutes are convex. A medial keel is present on the vertebral scutes with the most prominent keels being located on the first three. The apex of these scutes are yellowish but often become worn down with age. The base coloration of the carapace is olive green with yellow reticulations. Juveniles and young adults often bear some slight patern along the central seams of the plastral scutes. However, many adults bear a creamy yellow plastron free of markings. Some map turtles demonstrate Macrocephaly. This condition arrives following maturity and predominantly among females. However, Texas map turtles are considered mesocephalic due to their medium sized heads.
BEHAVIOR AND ECOLOGY: This aquatic turtle is fond of basking and within its range it can be found in rivers, creeks, lakes and ponds. This species is endemic to Texas and found no where else except in the bodies of water that form the Colorado River system.
Map turtle researcher Peter Lindeman has documented the following dietary items from Texas map turtles: Freshwater sponges, algae, seeds, Asian clams, various aquatic insects, leeches, and crayfish. CLICK HERE
TEXAS MAP TURTLE (Graptemys versa), (STEJNEGER, 1925)