Blanding’s Turtle

Description: 

This medium-sized turtle has an oval, moderately high-domed upper shell and a long head and neck. The upper shell may be dark brown or black with many yellow spots or bars. The lower shell is yellow with a large, dark-brown blotch on the outer portion of each scute, and the forward third is hinged and movable. Head and limbs are brown and yellow; the chin and underside of neck are usually bright yellow.

Size: 
Adult Blanding’s turtles range in upper shell length from 5 to 7 inches.
Habitat and conservation: 
This semi-aquatic turtle may spend much of its time in shallow water along the edge of marshes, walking about on land or basking in the sun on logs. Preferred habitat includes natural marshes and river sloughs, but this species also may live in ponds and drainage ditches.
Foods: 
Blanding’s turtles eat crustaceans and a variety of aquatic insects, snails, small fish and aquatic plants.
Distribution in Missouri: 
Due to limited numbers and a reduction of natural habitats, this species has been listed as endangered in Missouri.
Status: 
Listed as Endangered in the state of Missouri; a Species of Conservation Concern.