Spotted Turtle

Clemmys guttata

Reptile| East Coast of USA from Southern Maine to Northern Florida; Great Lakes Region from Illinois to New York

Animal Info

This species has been known to aestivate, which is a period of inactivity, in leaf litter during the summer potentially to prevent predation and avoid high temperatures.

This turtle gets its name from the pattern on its shell. This pattern serves as camouflage in its aquatic environment.

These turtles grow to be about 3.5-5 inches in length, with females being slightly larger than males.

The spotted pattern on each turtle’s shell can vary. Some individuals can have no spots or up to 100! The arrangement and number of spots can also change as the turtle ages!


In the wild: Algae, aquatic plants, mollusks, worms, insects

At the Zoo: Mazuri fresh water turtle diet, fresh produce, fish, shrimp, insects such as crickets


Areas of fresh, shallow water typically surround by wooded forests such as wetlands, streams, swamps, and ponds

Conservation Status

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) – Vulnerable

The state of Michigan lists this species as Threatened

Habitat loss and fragmentation due to drainage of wetlands for farmland and residential construction has led to decreasing populations and lowered genetic diversity, especially in the Great Lakes Region populations. Harvesting from their native habitats by humans for the pet trade also has resulted in lower populations.