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North American Animals - mamals, birds, reptiles, insects

 Florida Softshell (Apalone ferox)




Florida Softshell | Apalone ferox photo
Florida Softshell

Photograph by Johnskate17. License: Public Domain.  (view image details)

Florida Softshell | Apalone ferox photo
Florida Softshell Turtle (Apalone ferox) swimming

Photograph by John J. Mosesso, NBII. License: Public Domain.  (view image details)

FLORIDA SOFTSHELL FACTS

Description
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.

Size
length 15cm - 63cm

Environment
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.

Food
The Florida Softshell Turtle is carnivorous and eats fish, crustaceans, snails, insects, amphibians.

Breeding
The nesting season is during spring or summer. Females lay 4-24 eggs in a nest in sandy soil in sunny position.

Range
eastern United States. Mainly in Florida, but it also found in South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama.

Classification
Class:Reptilia
Order:Testudines
Family:Trionychidae
Genus:Apalone
Species:ferox
Common Name:Florida Softshell


Relatives in same Genus
  Spiny Softshell Turtle (A. spinifera)