Unlike its common relative, the smooth softshell is Illinois state endangered. The two parts of the turtle shell are the carapace which includes the vertebrae and ribs and the plastron made up of the clavicles (collar bones) and abdominal ribs. Softshell Turtles. Status: Endangered. 8813 designated lectotype by Webb (1962. Midland Smooth Softshell Turtle... Apalone spinifera Eastern spiny softshell turtle... Caretta caretta Loggerhead... Chelonia mydas Green turtle... Chelydra serpentina ... Illinois (23) North Carolina (23) South Carolina (23) Virginia (23) Arkansas (21) Tennessee (21) Maryland (20) Champaign, IL 61820. At roughly half that size, the spiny and smooth softshell turtles are more manageable as pets. Last week, a concerned fisherman brought this gorgeous softshell turtle to the Wildlife Medical Clinic. in males (Conant and Collins 1991). The diet includes a variety of animal foods but especially aquatic insects. It gives the animal a pancakelike appearance. Smooth Softshell Turtle. The Smooth Softshell Turtle. I investigated the spatial ecology of A. mutica in two reaches of the Kaskaskia River in south-central Illinois from 2013-2014. Mississippi Map Turtle Graptemys pseudogeographica kohnii. Etymology: Apalone – apo (Greek) meaning separate; alone (Anglo-Saxon) meaning solitary; or apalos (Greek) meaning soft, tender; mutica – mutilus (Latin) meaning shortened, docked. Smooth softshell turtles have a tubular snout with round nostrils that are usually positioned inferior, and they lack a septal ridge. Spatial ecological information is necessary to guide the conservation efforts of river turtles, but it is lacking for many species including the smooth softshell turtle (Apalone mutica). Relationships among members of Trionychidae, and taxonomy within the clade, are still poorly understood (e.g., Meylan, 1987; Engstrom et al., 2004). Within river systems, smooth softshell turtles had highest populations in the open side channels and main channels of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers in southern Illinois. Colors. It is the only species of a softshell turtle whose range spans the … smooth softshell (Apalone mutica) and spiny softshell (Apalone spinifera). 13 (10): 429-611). Note sur deux especes de tortues du genre Trionyx Gff. The male Smooth Softshell Turtle carapaces only reach half of this length. Habitat: Rivers and large streams having sand substrate, bars, and banks. There are two types of soft-shelled turtle in Illinois. Illinois Natural History Survey • Prairie Research Institute. The Kaskaskia River supports a diverse turtle community, with the spiny softshell and Ouachita map turtle as the main competitors of the smooth softshell. Declines of the latter three can be attributed in part to loss of wetlands. Natur., Paris. The spiny softshell turtle occurs throughout the state in lakes, sloughs, mud-bottomed streams, and sand-bottomed rivers. Museum of Natural History. Common Snapping Turtle Chelydra serpentina serpentina. Eastern Spiny Softshell Apalone spinifera spinifera. They're excellent swimmers and do well in mostly water tanks, with plants and other under water objects. Smooth Softshell Apalone mutica Spiny Softshell Apalone spinifera Illinois Natural History Survey 1816 … All rights reserved. Of Illinois’ 60 species of reptiles, perhaps the most highly adapted for an aquatic existence are the state’s two species of softshell turtles—smooth and spiny. Here, we need to know their conducive habitat, diet, and general physical health. Male smaller than female and has a larger, thicker tail with vent opening beyond rear edge of carapace. See Key to Illinois Turtles for help with identification. The common musk turtle (Sternotherus odoratus) is an aquatic turtle found in mud- ... Illinois has two turtle species not restricted to aquatic habitats and often encountered on land: the eastern box turtle (Ter - In Asia, turtle is considered a delicacy. They're excellent swimmers and do well in mostly water tanks, with plants and other under water objects. The smooth softshell turtle is listed as endangered in Illinois. Original Description: Le Sueur, C.A. Their name refers both to the leathery skin covering the shell and to the rear portion of the shell that is tough but flexible (Illinois Department of Natural Resources, 2014). Carapace irregularly patterned with small dark spots or dashes that expand into blotches or mottling in … Type Locality: “Newharmony, sur le Wabash” [=New Harmony, Wabash River, Posey County, IN], Original Name: Trionyx muticus Le Sueur, 1827. INHS Illinois River Biological Station researchers commonly catch these creatures in the hoop nets they use to sample fishes. I live in Illinois and the Eastern Spiny Softshell and the Smooth Softshell are both native and very abundant here. The size of this area is 474 m for males and 750 m for young females. Content from Illinois Public Media on Softshell Turtle. Hist. Softshell turtles have a hard bony shell. As the name suggests, the Smooth Softshell Turtle’s carapace does not have any bumps, ridges, or spines - they are flat and leathery with flexible edges. An adult male Smooth Softshell Turtle will be gray or brown in color, and there will also be some small dots and dashes found on the animal’s back. The carapace of adult females is tan or brown with irregular dark brown blotches, while the carapace of males and juveniles is a brown or grayish color with scattered, small dark brown dots or da… They inhabit the Mississippi, Colorado, Sabine and Pearl, Alabama, Brazos, and Escambia river drainage systems. We weren’t sure if the turtle had swallowed the hook or … Natural Resources Building Females and males also differ in color. Only the Eastern Spiny Softshell, A. s. spinifera is found in Illinois. Housing the Softshell Turtle . The Smooth Softshell inhabits larger rivers and prefers to bask, nest, and conceal itself in sandy areas, like emergent sand bars. Only the latter is found in Illinois. Apalone mutica, the smooth softshell turtle, is a member of Trionychidae within Cryptodira.There are four extant species of Apalone (Ernst and Barbour, 1989; Bonin et al., 2006). This turtle lives exclusively in large rivers. Common Musk Turtle (Stinkpot) Sternotherus odoratus. Taxonomy. The largest Illinois turtle is the alligator snapping turtle, Macrochelys temminckii. Repair Damage: What to Know Before Making Repairs, Contact an IDNR District Wildlife Biologist, IDNR’s Wild About Illinois Turtles! Vol. The carapaces of the females grow up to 14 inches in length. Ecology and Conservation Smooth softshell turtle’s habitat. The goals were to 1) determine Factors affecting movement, home range, and habitat use, 2) obtaining estimates of population size and population structure, and 3) determine the freshwater turtle community structure. Illinois Mud Turtle Kinosternon flavescens spooneri. Click trait name for all matches or numbers for narrower searches (e.g., het only). Plastron white to cream. The photo gallery below provides information about several of the turtles that are found in Illinois. The Smooth Softshell prefers medium-sized to large rivers with moderate to fast flows and A large tank, probably one that holds 80 to100 gallons of water, is a suitable habitat for a smooth softshell turtle. Female lays multiple clutches of 6 to 26 round, brittle-shelled eggs (ca. They love to bury in sand with just their head exposed waiting to surprise a fish. Spatial ecological information is lacking for many river turtles including the Smooth Softshell Turtle (Apalone mutica), a species inhabiting the Midwestern United States. The kind of softshell turtle you choose will determine the size of tank you need. Email the Web Administrator with questions or comments. The other, the smooth softshell turtle, is a threatened species in Illinois, according to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Midland Smooth Softshell Apalone mutica mutica Of Illinois’ 60 species of reptiles, perhaps the most highly adapted for an aquatic existence are the state’s two species of softshell turtles—smooth and spiny. woodlands and prairies, while the Smooth Softshell Turtle and Alligator Snapping Turtle favor rivers. The smooth softshell turtle can be found from Pennsylvania to New Mexico and Florida (they are found in from central to south central United States). woodlands and prairies, while the Smooth Softshell Turtle and Alligator Snapping Turtle favor rivers. It is considered an endangered species in the state of Illinois. For permissions information, contact the Illinois Natural History Survey. Common Name - Smooth Softshell Turtle Category - Reptiles Scientific Name - Apalone mutica Kingdom - Animalia Phylum - Chordata Class - Reptilia Order - Testudines Family - Trionychidae Genus - Apalone Species - muticus SubSpecies. The Smooth Softshell Turtle. ... Illinois, Snapping and Softshell Turtles are often sought for food. The smooth softshell turtle is listed as endangered in Illinois. The color will usually range from olive-gray to dark brown. While most turtles have hard shells composed of scutes , the Florida softshell has … Distribution Notes: Although restricted to rivers with sandy bottoms and frequent sandbars, the Smooth Softshell is absent from the apparently suitable rivers of Kankakee and Iroquois counties. I investigated the spatial ecology of A. mutica in two reaches of the Kaskaskia River in south-central Illinois from 2013-2014. The Smooth Softshell Turtle (Apalone mutica) inhabits sandy rivers throughout the Midwest United States. It is most abundant in the latter. Paired, dark-bordered, white stripes extend across snout to eyes. The Midland Smooth Softshell (Apalone mutica) is a highly aquatic turtle that oc-curs in central and south-central parts of the United States. The shell lacks any distinct bumps or coloration. Key Characters: Anterior edge of carapace lacking spines or tubercles; snout with rounded tip; nostrils lacking horizontal septal projections. In the Midwest, its range includes the Mississippi, Ohio, and Missou - ri river basins (Ernst and Lovich 2009). Blanding’s Turtles normally dwell in marshes. Agricultural runoff, siltation, and pollution are probable causes. Description: Medium-sized (up to 28 cm CL) turtle with tan, brown, or olive carapace with light posterior border. The spiny softshell turtle occurs throughout the state in lakes, sloughs, mud-bottomed streams, and sand-bottomed rivers. They quickly settle in and will swim about their tanks as much as fish. Feet neither strongly streaked nor patterned. The largest Illinois specimen on record weighed about 160 pounds. 1827. Male smooth softshell turtles have thicker tails than females, a trait commonly observed in turtle species. It is very easy to recognize these turtles from the smooth appearance of their carapaces. Check out the IDNR’s Wild About Illinois Turtles! This turtle is very unlikely to be confused with any species except the Spiny Softshell. Type Specimen: Syntypes. Jason Ross (INHS), Robert Bluett (IDNR), and Michael J. Dreslik (INHS) Jason Ross radio-tracking a Smooth Softshell Turtle in the Kaskaskia River near Fayetteville, Illinois. Smooth softshell turtle females move around quite a bit when searching for nesting habitat. Transactions of the Illinois State Academy of Science (2018) Volume 111, pp. As a result, they are more aggressive than many turtle … Smooth softshell turtles are harvested for meat and they are also at risk of being captured and drowned by gill nets and set lines used for commercial fishing (Pappas et al. Common Name - Smooth Softshell Turtle Category - Reptiles Scientific Name - Apalone mutica Kingdom - Animalia Phylum - Chordata Class - Reptilia Order - Testudines Family - Trionychidae Genus - Apalone Species - muticus SubSpecies. Mississippi Mud Turtle Kinosternon subrubrum hippocrepis. The smooth softshell turtle can be found along the Mississippi River drainage system from Louisiana up north to North Dakota as well as other river … Females of this species can reach 14-inches while males are about half that length. The Smooth Softshell's distribution in Indiana follows major rivers, including the Wabash, Ohio, and Blue. The Smooth Softshell Turtle features a smooth carapace that does not display any of the typical bony scutes found on other turtle breeds. The smooth softshell turtle is a species of softshell turtle of the family Trionychidae. Subspecies: Two subspecies are currently recognized, Gulf Coast Smooth Softshell, A. m. calvata (Webb, 1959) and Midland Smooth Softshell, A. m. mutica. The male Smooth Softshell Turtle carapaces only reach half of this length. Despite their preference for riverine systems, smooth softshell turtles have also been found in lakes, bogs, ponds, and drainage ditches. website to learn about the spiny softshell turtle (Apalone spinifera) and the smooth softshell turtle (Apalone mutica). Additionally, the Prairie Research Institute’s Illinois Natural History Survey has an Identification Key to help people figure out what species turtle they have found. Apalone mutica, the smooth softshell turtle, is a member of Trionychidae within Cryptodira.There are four extant species of Apalone (Ernst and Barbour, 1989; Bonin et al., 2006). As the name suggests, the Smooth Softshell Turtle’s carapace does not have any bumps, ridges, or spines - they are flat and leathery with flexible edges. Smooth Softshell Turtle Description. Check out the IDNR’s Wild About Illinois Turtles! It particularly likes rivers with sandy bottoms where you might find it eating fish, mollusks, and crustaceans. website to learn about the spiny softshell turtle (Apalone spinifera) and the smooth softshell turtle (Apalone mutica). Identification. The Florida softshell turtle is a large turtle with a flattened, pancake-like body, a long neck, an elongated head with a long snorkel-like nose, and large webbed feet, each with three claws. It is especially suited for insect hunting. They love to bury in sand with just their head exposed waiting to surprise a fish. These turtles are members of the family Trionychidae, which has a total of two representatives in Indiana. Only the latter is found in Illinois. The smallest Illinois turtle is the spotted turtle, Clemmys guttata. Because of their soft shells, these turtles are more vulnerable to predators. Small numbers of females and juveniles at one site suggest problems with recruitment in one population; the … They hibernate in the winter just like other turtles. The most common turtle in Illinois is the red-eared slider, which utilizes a wide variety of habitats and can be recognized by a distinct red patch on the side of the Ornate Box Turtle Terrapene ornata ornata Females of this species can reach 14-inches while males are about half that length. conservation efforts for the Smooth Softshell Turtle. The Smooth Softshell differs from the Spiny in being flatter and more circular, and lacking the "spines" on the front of the carapace. Chinese softshell turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis) on white. If you don’t know what the species is, click on the text to work through the key. website. However, letting a pet turtle that was perhaps from another state/country/region loose in the wild is injurious to not only the animal you are freeing, but also to the local population of animals. Spatial ecological information is necessary to guide the conservation efforts of river turtles, but it is lacking for many species including the smooth softshell turtle (Apalone mutica). Blanding’s Turtles normally dwell in marshes. Smooth Softshell Turtle. Spiny softshell turtles have a rough carapace with spines along the front edge while, as the name implies, smooth softshell turtles lack such spines. Currently, the Smooth Softshell Turtle is listed as a State Endangered Species in Illinois and in 2013 we began our research. 22 mm diameter) in sand banks or bars from late May into July. The plastron is light (white or gray) with no markings, and the underlying bones are visible. 2001). When he found her, she had a fish hook caught in her mouth, but by the time she reached our hospital, the hook was nowhere in sight. 607 East Peabody Drive Similar Species: Spiny Softshell. Nomenclatural History: Also referred to as Amyda mutica in older literature. Because of their soft shells, these turtles are more vulnerable to predators. We thank our field technicians Travis Rus-sell, Lisa LaBudde, and Cassandra Henry for all their help. Small numbers of females and juveniles at one site suggest problems with recruitment in one population; the other population was a … Similar Species: Smooth Softshell. The shell lacks any distinct bumps or coloration. Care for smooth softshell turtles in many forms. Carapace irregularly patterned with small dark spots or dashes that expand into blotches or mottling in large females. It is most abundant in the latter. The Midland Smooth Softshell (Apalone mutica mutica) is the only subspecies that occurs in Indiana. compared to 11.4-17.8 cm (4.5-7 in.) Compared to other turtle species, the smooth softshell turtles are large. Keep your eyes open the next time you're near the Mississippi or Wisconsin rivers. St. H. Mem. Smith (1961) considered Illinois populations to be mainly A. s. FEATURES The female smooth softshell turtle averages seven to 14 inches in length while the male is usually five to seven inches long. INHS Herpetology Collection Smooth Softshells quickly learn to come to feeding and will liven up any tank. This turtle's shell is soft, smooth and leathery with no scales or scutes (plates). The carapaces of the females grow up to 14 inches in length. Florida Softshell Turtle (Apalone ferox) is a species of softshell turtle found primarily in the state of Florida, but it also ranges to southern sections of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, and Texas. The eastern spiny softshell turtle is one of two softshell turtles in Illinois, and it is the more widespread of the two. Females are larger than males, with a carapace length of 16.5-35.6 cm (6.5-14 in.) © 2018–2020 University of Illinois Board of Trustees. The Prairie Research … Charlie Brown Specials To Air on WILL-TV, After All, In PBS Deal The other, the smooth softshell turtle, is a threatened species in Illinois, according to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Unlike most turtles, the smooth softshell turtle has a smooth, leatherlike, flexible carapace and a long, tubular snout. 15. Spatial ecological information is necessary to guide the conservation efforts of river turtles, but it is lacking for many species including the smooth softshell turtle (Apalone mutica). Because of the smooth softshell turtle's long maturation period, population recovery from these causes of … Description: The Midland Smooth Softshell Turtle is a rather plain looking softshell turtle. Illinois Mud Turtle Kinosternon flavescens spooneri. It takes only seconds for this turtle to completely bury itself in the sand, lying just deep enough for its long, pointed snout to reach the surface for air, like a snorkel. Description: Medium-sized (up to 28 cm CL) turtle with tan, brown, or olive carapace with light posterior border. Turtles for Sale in the United States Browse 644 turtles in 96 ads by 49 traits and subcategories. Eastern Mud Turtles are ... 17 of those turtle species inhabit Illinois, dwelling in forests, prairies, marshes, swamps, ponds, lakes, streams Jeremy Gets To Grips With a Bone Crushing Softshell Turtle | TURTLE | River Monsters - Duration: 2:11. Midland Painted Turtle Chrysemys picta marginata. Female is more solitary, wanders more, and utilizes deeper water than male. Subspecies: Two subspecies are currently recognized, Gulf Coast Smooth Softshell, A. m. calvata (Webb, 1959) and Midland Smooth Softshell, A. m. mutica. That species is one of six that are classified as “state-endangered,” joining the river cooter, smooth softshell, Illinois mud turtle, Blanding’s turtle, and spotted turtle. Relatively nonagressive. Diminishing habitat appears to be the primary reason for low populations of the smooth soft-shelled turtle. See Key to Illinois Turtles for help with identification. 5 specimens, MNHN 564, 4143, 7977, 8813, and 8814. Populations appear to be declining in much of the state. For instance, the Florida softshell turtle can weigh over 40 pounds and reach over 2 feet long, requiring a large area to swim. Compared to other turtle species, the smooth softshell turtles are large. Smooth softshell turtle care. A similar but expanded pair of stripes extend posteriorly from eyes onto the neck. Midland Smooth Softshell Apalone mutica mutica. The spiny softshell is one of the most common turtle species in the Illinois River along with the red-eared slider. Smooth softshell turtles may be easily confused with the spiny softshell turtle (Apalone spinifera), as the differences between the two species are subtle. Spatial ecological information is necessary to guide the conservation efforts of river turtles, but it is lacking for many species including the smooth softshell turtle (Apalone mutica). They quickly settle in and will swim about their tanks as much as fish. smooth softshell (Apalone mutica) and spiny softshell (Apalone spinifera). Smooth Softshell Turtle Description. The Kaskaskia River supports a diverse turtle community, with the spiny softshell and Ouachita map turtle as the main competitors of the smooth softshell. Natural History: Males and juveniles congregate in sandy shallows to bury in the substrate and bask along exposed banks. False Map Turtle Graptemys pseudogeographica pseudogeographica. The Prairie Research Institute’s Illinois Natural History Survey provides species distribution maps and more natural history information about the spiny softshell turtle and the smooth softshell turtle. It takes only seconds for this turtle to completely bury itself in the sand, lying just deep enough for its long, pointed snout to reach the surface for air, like a snorkel. Smooth Softshells quickly learn to come to feeding and will liven up any tank. The Smooth Softshell inhabits larger rivers and prefers to bask, nest, and conceal itself in sandy areas, like emergent sand bars. The spiny soft-shelled turtle is a regular inhabitant of lakes, ponds, rivers and streams in Southern Illinois. The smooth softshell turtle has a smooth, flexible and leather like carapace that is covered by skin instead of the hard scutes commonly observed in other turtle species. It spends most of its time in the water, though on warm days will soak up the sun basking on sandbars. Unusual in lakes. The plastron (lower shell) is white. It is very easy to recognize these turtles from the smooth appearance of their carapaces. River Monsters™ 355,275 views In some locations it may grow to a shell length of 30 inches (77 cm) and a weight of more than 250 pounds (112.5 kilograms). Eastern Spiny Softshell Turtle in water at The Grove National Landmark Glenview Illinois 602146 Apalone spinifera. Furthermore, the transverse ridges inside the nostrils are not present in the Smooth Softshell. As adults, they usually have an area about 1,2228 m long where they generally feed and live. The Latest News. Occurrences suggest the Smooth Softshell's distribution in Illinois is the same as or substantially similar to historical times. Smooth Softshells make very good community turtles. The species is endemic to North America. Spatial ecological information is lacking for many river turtles including the Smooth Softshell Turtle (Apalone mutica), a species inhabiting the Midwestern United States. In 2015, of the state's 17 turtle species, six (the alligator snapping turtle, the spotted turtle, Blanding's turtle, the eastern river cooter, the yellow mud turtle and the smooth softshell turtle) are state endangered and one (the ornate box turtle) is state threatened. University of Kansas Publications. Lawrence. Smooth Softshells make very good community turtles. Turtle Ornate Box Turtle Smooth Softshell Spiny Softshell Red-eared Slider Year Round None 3 3 Any Method None None North Subspecies: Five subspecies are currently recognized in the United States. Spatial ecological information is necessary to guide the conservation efforts of river turtles, but it is lacking for many species including the smooth softshell turtle (Apalone mutica). … Mus. Relationships among members of Trionychidae, and taxonomy within the clade, are still poorly …

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