Feet neither strongly streaked nor patterned. In Asia, turtle is considered a delicacy. Common Musk Turtle (Stinkpot) Sternotherus odoratus. Spiny softshell turtles have a rough carapace with spines along the front edge while, as the name implies, smooth softshell turtles lack such spines. 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. Compared to other turtle species, the smooth softshell turtles are large. … Carapace irregularly patterned with small dark spots or dashes that expand into blotches or mottling in large females. Relatively nonagressive. Last week, a concerned fisherman brought this gorgeous softshell turtle to the Wildlife Medical Clinic. 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. INHS Herpetology Collection The other, the smooth softshell turtle, is a threatened species in Illinois, according to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Identification. If you don’t know what the species is, click on the text to work through the key. As adults, they usually have an area about 1,2228 m long where they generally feed and live. Chinese softshell turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis) on white. Smooth Softshell Turtle Description. This turtle's shell is soft, smooth and leathery with no scales or scutes (plates). smooth softshell (Apalone mutica) and spiny softshell (Apalone spinifera). 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 The carapaces of the females grow up to 14 inches in length. Type Specimen: Syntypes. As a result, they are more aggressive than many turtle … It is considered an endangered species in the state of Illinois. Relationships among members of Trionychidae, and taxonomy within the clade, are still poorly … Unlike most turtles, the smooth softshell turtle has a smooth, leatherlike, flexible carapace and a long, tubular snout. While most turtles have hard shells composed of scutes , the Florida softshell has … I live in Illinois and the Eastern Spiny Softshell and the Smooth Softshell are both native and very abundant here. 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. 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 … It spends most of its time in the water, though on warm days will soak up the sun basking on sandbars. The largest Illinois specimen on record weighed about 160 pounds. woodlands and prairies, while the Smooth Softshell Turtle and Alligator Snapping Turtle favor rivers. 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). Smooth Softshells make very good community turtles. 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 (Apalone mutica) and spiny softshell (Apalone spinifera). We thank our field technicians Travis Rus-sell, Lisa LaBudde, and Cassandra Henry for all their help. website. 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. Male smooth softshell turtles have thicker tails than females, a trait commonly observed in turtle species. 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. 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. 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. in males (Conant and Collins 1991). Repair Damage: What to Know Before Making Repairs, Contact an IDNR District Wildlife Biologist, IDNR’s Wild About Illinois Turtles! Because of the smooth softshell turtle's long maturation period, population recovery from these causes of … The Latest News. Smooth Softshells quickly learn to come to feeding and will liven up any tank. The Midland Smooth Softshell (Apalone mutica) is a highly aquatic turtle that oc-curs in central and south-central parts of the United States. Because of their soft shells, these turtles are more vulnerable to predators. Ecology and Conservation Vol. The species is endemic to North America. Females of this species can reach 14-inches while males are about half that length. Agricultural runoff, siltation, and pollution are probable causes. 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). A similar but expanded pair of stripes extend posteriorly from eyes onto the neck. The largest Illinois turtle is the alligator snapping turtle, Macrochelys temminckii. Status: Endangered. False Map Turtle Graptemys pseudogeographica pseudogeographica. 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). Unlike its common relative, the smooth softshell is Illinois state endangered. Females of this species can reach 14-inches while males are about half that length. They love to bury in sand with just their head exposed waiting to surprise a fish. The photo gallery below provides information about several of the turtles that are found in Illinois. Spatial ecological information is lacking for many river turtles including the Smooth Softshell Turtle (Apalone mutica), a species inhabiting the Midwestern United States. The Smooth Softshell prefers medium-sized to large rivers with moderate to fast flows and Click trait name for all matches or numbers for narrower searches (e.g., het only). The Kaskaskia River supports a diverse turtle community, with the spiny softshell and Ouachita map turtle as the main competitors of the smooth softshell. Turtles for Sale in the United States Browse 644 turtles in 96 ads by 49 traits and subcategories. The Smooth Softshell's distribution in Indiana follows major rivers, including the Wabash, Ohio, and Blue. 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). 13 (10): 429-611). The spiny softshell turtle occurs throughout the state in lakes, sloughs, mud-bottomed streams, and sand-bottomed rivers. Smooth Softshells quickly learn to come to feeding and will liven up any tank. Only the latter is found in Illinois. 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. Description: Medium-sized (up to 28 cm CL) turtle with tan, brown, or olive carapace with light posterior border. Smooth Softshell Turtle. Compared to other turtle species, the smooth softshell turtles are large. Smooth Softshell Turtle Description. Natur., Paris. 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. 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. Mississippi Mud Turtle Kinosternon subrubrum hippocrepis. 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. They hibernate in the winter just like other turtles. Illinois Mud Turtle Kinosternon flavescens spooneri. Transactions of the Illinois State Academy of Science (2018) Volume 111, pp. Populations appear to be declining in much of the state. 22 mm diameter) in sand banks or bars from late May into July. The Smooth Softshell Turtle (Apalone mutica) inhabits sandy rivers throughout the Midwest United States. Currently, the Smooth Softshell Turtle is listed as a State Endangered Species in Illinois and in 2013 we began our research. Natural Resources Building The spiny soft-shelled turtle is a regular inhabitant of lakes, ponds, rivers and streams in Southern Illinois. Check out the IDNR’s Wild About Illinois Turtles! Softshell Turtles. 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. I investigated the spatial ecology of A. mutica in two reaches of the Kaskaskia River in south-central Illinois from 2013-2014. It particularly likes rivers with sandy bottoms where you might find it eating fish, mollusks, and crustaceans. In the Midwest, its range includes the Mississippi, Ohio, and Missou - ri river basins (Ernst and Lovich 2009). Smooth softshell turtle care. They inhabit the Mississippi, Colorado, Sabine and Pearl, Alabama, Brazos, and Escambia river drainage systems. River Monsters™ 355,275 views Description: Medium-sized (up to 28 cm CL) turtle with tan, brown, or olive carapace with light posterior border. The other, the smooth softshell turtle, is a threatened species in Illinois, according to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. 1827. Eastern Mud Turtles are ... 17 of those turtle species inhabit Illinois, dwelling in forests, prairies, marshes, swamps, ponds, lakes, streams Female is more solitary, wanders more, and utilizes deeper water than male. conservation efforts for the Smooth Softshell Turtle. The spiny softshell turtle occurs throughout the state in lakes, sloughs, mud-bottomed streams, and sand-bottomed rivers. Etymology: Apalone – apo (Greek) meaning separate; alone (Anglo-Saxon) meaning solitary; or apalos (Greek) meaning soft, tender; mutica – mutilus (Latin) meaning shortened, docked. University of Kansas Publications. The Smooth Softshell differs from the Spiny in being flatter and more circular, and lacking the "spines" on the front of the carapace. The color will usually range from olive-gray to dark brown. Email the Web Administrator with questions or comments. The smooth softshell turtle is a species of softshell turtle of the family Trionychidae. The eastern spiny softshell turtle is one of two softshell turtles in Illinois, and it is the more widespread of the two. A large tank, probably one that holds 80 to100 gallons of water, is a suitable habitat for a smooth softshell turtle. Turtle Ornate Box Turtle Smooth Softshell Spiny Softshell Red-eared Slider Year Round None 3 3 Any Method None None North The size of this area is 474 m for males and 750 m for young females. Females are larger than males, with a carapace length of 16.5-35.6 cm (6.5-14 in.) Declines of the latter three can be attributed in part to loss of wetlands. The diet includes a variety of animal foods but especially aquatic insects. Smooth softshell turtle’s habitat. We weren’t sure if the turtle had swallowed the hook or … Note sur deux especes de tortues du genre Trionyx Gff. 8813 designated lectotype by Webb (1962. 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. Illinois Mud Turtle Kinosternon flavescens spooneri. The Smooth Softshell Turtle. It is most abundant in the latter. Eastern Spiny Softshell Turtle in water at The Grove National Landmark Glenview Illinois 602146 Apalone spinifera. See Key to Illinois Turtles for help with identification. They're excellent swimmers and do well in mostly water tanks, with plants and other under water objects. Eastern Spiny Softshell Apalone spinifera spinifera. 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) Smooth Softshells make very good community turtles. The shell lacks any distinct bumps or coloration. © 2018–2020 University of Illinois Board of Trustees. This turtle is very unlikely to be confused with any species except the Spiny Softshell. Type Locality: “Newharmony, sur le Wabash” [=New Harmony, Wabash River, Posey County, IN], Original Name: Trionyx muticus Le Sueur, 1827. Females and males also differ in color. Taxonomy. Subspecies: Five subspecies are currently recognized in the United States. Only the latter is found in Illinois. This turtle lives exclusively in large rivers. 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). Midland Smooth Softshell Apalone mutica mutica Common Snapping Turtle Chelydra serpentina serpentina. 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). Care for smooth softshell turtles in many forms. Softshell turtles have a hard bony shell. Relationships among members of Trionychidae, and taxonomy within the clade, are still poorly understood (e.g., Meylan, 1987; Engstrom et al., 2004). 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… The smallest Illinois turtle is the spotted turtle, Clemmys guttata. Description: The Midland Smooth Softshell Turtle is a rather plain looking softshell turtle. Smooth softshell turtles have a tubular snout with round nostrils that are usually positioned inferior, and they lack a septal ridge. Champaign, IL 61820. Colors. The spiny softshell is one of the most common turtle species in the Illinois River along with the red-eared slider. It is most abundant in the latter. Subspecies: Two subspecies are currently recognized, Gulf Coast Smooth Softshell, A. m. calvata (Webb, 1959) and Midland Smooth Softshell, A. m. mutica. 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. Charlie Brown Specials To Air on WILL-TV, After All, In PBS Deal Habitat: Rivers and large streams having sand substrate, bars, and banks. These turtles are members of the family Trionychidae, which has a total of two representatives in Indiana. 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). The male Smooth Softshell Turtle carapaces only reach half of this length. The plastron (lower shell) is white. Blanding’s Turtles normally dwell in marshes. The Smooth Softshell Turtle. Midland Smooth Softshell Apalone mutica mutica. 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. Illinois Natural History Survey • Prairie Research Institute. It is especially suited for insect hunting. Spatial ecological information is lacking for many river turtles including the Smooth Softshell Turtle (Apalone mutica), a species inhabiting the Midwestern United States. Small numbers of females and juveniles at one site suggest problems with recruitment in one population; the other population was a … Because of their soft shells, these turtles are more vulnerable to predators. Furthermore, the transverse ridges inside the nostrils are not present in the Smooth Softshell. All rights reserved. Housing the Softshell Turtle . The kind of softshell turtle you choose will determine the size of tank you need. Occurrences suggest the Smooth Softshell's distribution in Illinois is the same as or substantially similar to historical times. Female lays multiple clutches of 6 to 26 round, brittle-shelled eggs (ca. The Kaskaskia River supports a diverse turtle community, with the spiny softshell and Ouachita map turtle as the main competitors of the smooth softshell. Smooth softshell turtles may be easily confused with the spiny softshell turtle (Apalone spinifera), as the differences between the two species are subtle. The Prairie Research … 15. 607 East Peabody Drive Mus. It is very easy to recognize these turtles from the smooth appearance of their carapaces. For permissions information, contact the Illinois Natural History Survey. Smooth softshell turtle females move around quite a bit when searching for nesting habitat. Smooth Softshell Apalone mutica Spiny Softshell Apalone spinifera Illinois Natural History Survey 1816 … Lawrence. 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. There are two types of soft-shelled turtle in Illinois. 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. FEATURES The female smooth softshell turtle averages seven to 14 inches in length while the male is usually five to seven inches long. They love to bury in sand with just their head exposed waiting to surprise a fish. 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 Smooth Softshell Turtle features a smooth carapace that does not display any of the typical bony scutes found on other turtle breeds. The carapaces of the females grow up to 14 inches in length. 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. The shell lacks any distinct bumps or coloration. Similar Species: Spiny Softshell. Smooth Softshell Turtle. 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. Museum of Natural History. Hist. The smooth softshell turtle is listed as endangered in Illinois. 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. Check out the IDNR’s Wild About Illinois Turtles! Male smaller than female and has a larger, thicker tail with vent opening beyond rear edge of carapace. 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