Eastern Painted Turtle

Chrysemys picta picta

Eastern Painted Turtles are water turtles. They can grow up to nine inches long. They are black with smooth, flattened shells.

The top part of a turtle's shell is called a carapace. The carapace has many small plates called scutes. The Eastern Painted Turtle has thick lines between its scutes. This turtle also has red markings around the edges of its carapace.

Michael Tuma

The bottom part of the turtle's shell is called the plastron. The plastron of the Eastern Painted Turtle is yellow.

These turtles also have yellow and red stripes on their necks, legs, and tails.

Michael Tuma

Eastern Painted Turtles live in marshes, lakes, ponds, rivers, and slow-moving streams. They prefer water with lots of plants, and logs they can climb out on.

These turtles bask in large groups. Basking is when the turtles leave the water to soak up sunlight. This helps them warm up, since they are cold-blooded, and gets rid of parasites, such as leeches, which don't like the sun.

Michael Tuma

Sometimes painted turtles bask with other turtles, such as the larger Red-eared Slider. If any of the turtles sense danger, they will all quickly dive into the water.

Eastern Painted Turtles are our most common turtle. They breed in the Spring, and females dig nests from May to July.

First, she will climb a little ways onto the shore. She will then dig a hole that is close enough to the water so that the bottom of the hole will have some water in it. The hole she digs will be about four inches deep. Next, she lays her eggs in the hole; each egg is about an inch long. The female then fills the hole back up to hide her nest. Painted turtles do not raise their young. Baby turtles will hatch and dig their way out of the nest in about 10 weeks.

The sex of the turtles is decided by temperature. If the temperature in the nest was very warm, all the baby turtles will be females. If it wasn't warm enough, then all the babies will be males. Many predators will eat the young turtles.

Mark Moran

Eastern Painted Turtles eat many plants, including duckweed, algae, and water lilies. They also eat earthworms, insects, leeches, snails, crayfish, tadpoles, frogs, fish, and carrion. Carrion is dead animal matter.

Animals that prey on Eastern Painted Turtles include: herons, raccoons, larger turtles, crows, large fish, snakes, crows, hawks, bullfrogs, and foxes.

Eastern Painted Turtles hibernate in the Winter.

Copyright, John White

Copyright, John White

Additional Media

Description
Type
Credit
Painted Turtle Coloring Page
Link to Printable Page
EnchantedLearning.com

Relationships in Nature:

PREY/FOOD
PREDATORS
SHELTER
OTHER

Common Duckweed

Raccoon

Yellow Pond Lily

Freshwater Leech Pa

Lizard's Tail

Great Blue Heron

Common Duckweed

Red-eared Slider Mu

Stagnant Pond Snail

Common Snapping Turtle

Lizard's Tail

Earthworm

Red Fox

Common Cattail

Freshwater Leech

Common Crow

Common Reed

Bullfrog

Red-tailed Hawk

Pickerelweed

Crayfish

Black Rat Snake

Tussock Sedge

Green Darner

Bullfrog

Long-leaf Pondweed

Eastern Dobsonfly

Largemouth Bass

Hydrilla

Yellow Pond Lily

Channel Catfish

Greater Bladderwort

Creek Chub

Northern Water Snake

Swamp Rose Mallow

Aquatic Worm

Bald Eagle

Wild Rice

Golden Shiner

Double-crested Cormorant

Yellow Perch

Large Diving Beetle

Crane Fly

Pickerelweed

Southern Leopard Frog

Green Algae

Eastern Mosquitofish

Relationship to Humans:

Eastern Painted Turtles are not eaten as often as larger turtles, such as snapping turtles. They are good controllers of insects, snails, leeches, algae, and other pesky organisms. Painted turtles do not bite, but they have sharp claws which can scratch you when they try to get away. Remember to always wash your hands right away after handling a turtle, because they sometimes carry bacteria which can cause diseases.

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

KINGDOM
Animal
PHYLUM
Chordate
CLASS
Reptile
ORDER
Testudines
FAMILY
Emydidae
GENUS
Chrysemys
SPECIES
Chrysemys picta picta

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