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North American Animals - mamals, birds, reptiles, insects
Florida Softshell (Apalone ferox)
Photograph by Johnskate17. License: Public Domain. (view image details)
Florida Softshell Turtle (Apalone ferox) swimming
Photograph by John J. Mosesso, NBII. License: Public Domain. (view image details)
FLORIDA SOFTSHELL FACTSDescription
The Florida Softshell Turtle is one of the largest freshwater turtles in North America, and the largest of the Apalone genus. It has a dark brown to olive green, leathery carapace. The underside (plastron) is white or cream. They have a long neck, an elongated head, with a long nose. Juvenile turtles are olive or yellowish with grey spots and a yellow lined carapace, and a gray plastron. The juveniles also yellow and orange markings on the head. The markings fade as the turtle ages. Florida Softshell Turtles may bite when threatened. They are fast moving on land and in the water.
length 15cm - 63cm
Found in ponds, streams, rivers, lakes and swamps. They prefer still water. Florida Softshell Turtles are mainly aquatic and only come onto land to bask or to lay eggs.
The Florida Softshell Turtle is carnivorous and eats fish, crustaceans, snails, insects, amphibians.
The nesting season is during spring or summer. Females lay 4-24 eggs in a nest in sandy soil in sunny position.
eastern United States. Mainly in Florida, but it also found in South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama.
Relatives in same Genus
Spiny Softshell Turtle (A. spinifera)