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TEXAS DIAMONDBACK TERRAPIN (Malaclemys terrapin littoralis) (HAY, 1904)

IDENTIFICATION: A medium sized turtle, adult females growing to 6-9 inches (15-22 cm) in straight line carapace length while males achieve a carapace length of 4-5.5 inches (10-14 cm).  The carapace is gray, brown to black with a medial keel with knobs, but this character may not be present among older adults. The scutes of the carapace may have yellow centers and the marginal scutes are often marked in yellow. The plastron is yellow or yellow with suffusions of gray. The head and neck are whitish to gray with dark spots while the beak can range from creamy white to pale yellow.  Males have a dark 'moustache' on the upper portion of the beak.  Some individuals may have also a black to brown patch on top of their heads. Mature females develop larger heads than males.  The limbs are whitish to gray with dark spots with webbing present between the toes and the rear feet are significantly larger than the front.

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