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North American Animals - mamals, birds, reptiles, insects
Diamondback Terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin)
Adult female Diamondback turtle
Photograph by Mary Hollinger, NODC biologist, NOAA. License: Public Domain. (view image details)
DIAMONDBACK TERRAPIN FACTSDescription
The Diamondback Terrapin has a prominent diamond pattern on the shell. The shell color varies from brown to gray. Skin color can be gray, brown, yellow or white, with a pattern of fine black markings or spots on the body and head.
length: males 13cm; females 20cm
found in brackish water. Needs access to soft dry sand or soil for nesting.
mollusks, fiddler crabs, small fish. It has bony plates on the upper and lower mandibles to enable them to crush mollusk shells.
Diamondback Terrapins breed in early spring. The female lays a clutch of 5-12 eggs in sand dunes in early summer. The young hatch in late summer or early fall.
The Diamondback Terrapin is found from Cape Cod to Texas along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.