Mississippi Map Turtle
Graptemys kohni

CLASS: Reptilia
ORDER: Chelonia
FAMILY: Emydidae

Males 3.5 - 5 inches; females 6 - 10 inches

Lower and western parts of the Mississippi drainage basin in Louisiana, Arkansas, and Missouri extending to eastern Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Water with abundant aquatic vegetation, places to bask in the sun, and slow currents, all of which include large rivers, lakes, ponds, sloughs, bayous, oxbows and occasionally marshes.

Wild - Carnivorous young eat snails and other easily crushed mollusks; omnivorous adults eat plant leaves, stems, roots, as well as mollusks and insect larvae

Zoo - Fish


  • Olive to brown carapace, with dark brown keel and pattern of circular markings.
  • Plastron is greenish-yellow with an intricate pattern of dark lines; distinctive yellow crescent behind the eye.
  • Numerous light yellow stripes that run longitudinally down the neck; eyes have pure white ring and the pupil is black.
  • Males have longer tail than female and have elongated claws on the front feet; both features used in mating.

Excessively shy, they do not do well in captivity; numbers declining in some areas due to pollution, river channelization, reduction of nest sites, siltation and overkilling, and in some cases, the pet trade.

Eggs laid in June in open sand areas or in areas with low shrubs; clutch size 2 - 8eggs with larger females lating larger clutches; incubation period 60 - 82 days.

Widespread; common

Animal Diversity Web, Museum of Zoology, University