Diamondback Terrapin

Diamondback Terrapin

Diamondback Terrapin
Malaclemys terrapin


CLASS
Reptilia
ORDER
Testudines
FAMILY
Emydidae

Range

Eastern and Gulf coasts of the U.S., from Maine to Texas


Habitat

Brackish waters of coastal marshes, estuaries, tidal flats and lagoons


Diet

Worms, crabs, snails and fish

Size

MALE 4 - 6 in.
FEMALE 6 - 9 in.

Incubation

60 to 85 days

Clutch

3 - 18 eggs

IUCN Status

Vulnerable

Facts

  • Active during the day, the diamondback terrapin spends its time basking on land and finding food.
  • The diamondback terrapin is the only species of turtle in North America that spends its life in brackish water.
  • Female terrapins come on shore in June and July to make their nests and lay 3 to 18 eggs.
  • Flattened shell and webbed feet aid in swimming.

 

Conservation

They face threats from habitat loss and degradation. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, were hunted nearly to extinction for their meat, which was considered a gourmet delicacy.

Vulnerable
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