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 inhabits larger rivers and prefers to bask, nest, and conceal itself in sandy areas, like emergent sand bars. Despite their preference for riverine systems, smooth softshell turtles have also been found in lakes, bogs, ponds, and drainage ditches. ... Illinois, Snapping and Softshell Turtles are often sought for food. They quickly settle in and will swim about their tanks as much as fish. Transactions of the Illinois State Academy of Science (2018) Volume 111, pp. Smooth Softshells quickly learn to come to feeding and will liven up any tank. 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. Check out the IDNR’s Wild About Illinois Turtles! Plastron white to cream. 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. Declines of the latter three can be attributed in part to loss of wetlands. They quickly settle in and will swim about their tanks as much as fish. The diet includes a variety of animal foods but especially aquatic insects. Taxonomy. It is most abundant in the latter. Jeremy Gets To Grips With a Bone Crushing Softshell Turtle | TURTLE | River Monsters - Duration: 2:11. Smooth Softshell Turtle. Here, we need to know their conducive habitat, diet, and general physical health. 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 … Repair Damage: What to Know Before Making Repairs, Contact an IDNR District Wildlife Biologist, IDNR’s Wild About Illinois Turtles! The other, the smooth softshell turtle, is a threatened species in Illinois, according to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. website to learn about the spiny softshell turtle (Apalone spinifera) and the smooth softshell turtle (Apalone mutica). Description: Medium-sized (up to 28 cm CL) turtle with tan, brown, or olive carapace with light posterior border. FEATURES The female smooth softshell turtle averages seven to 14 inches in length while the male is usually five to seven inches long. The spiny soft-shelled turtle is a regular inhabitant of lakes, ponds, rivers and streams in Southern Illinois. Click trait name for all matches or numbers for narrower searches (e.g., het only). The size of this area is 474 m for males and 750 m for young females. The male Smooth Softshell Turtle carapaces only reach half of this length. The kind of softshell turtle you choose will determine the size of tank you need. Smooth Softshell Turtle Description. 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). Common Musk Turtle (Stinkpot) Sternotherus odoratus. Females are larger than males, with a carapace length of 16.5-35.6 cm (6.5-14 in.) smooth softshell (Apalone mutica) and spiny softshell (Apalone spinifera). It is very easy to recognize these turtles from the smooth appearance of their carapaces. Female is more solitary, wanders more, and utilizes deeper water than male. The largest Illinois specimen on record weighed about 160 pounds. 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). Spiny softshell turtles have a rough carapace with spines along the front edge while, as the name implies, smooth softshell turtles lack such spines. website to learn about the spiny softshell turtle (Apalone spinifera) and the smooth softshell turtle (Apalone mutica). 13 (10): 429-611). Blanding’s Turtles normally dwell in marshes. The Prairie Research … The Smooth Softshell Turtle. Housing the Softshell Turtle . Populations appear to be declining in much of the state. Compared to other turtle species, the smooth softshell turtles are large. As a result, they are more aggressive than many turtle … Unusual in lakes. Eastern Mud Turtles are ... 17 of those turtle species inhabit Illinois, dwelling in forests, prairies, marshes, swamps, ponds, lakes, streams Because of the smooth softshell turtle's long maturation period, population recovery from these causes of … Museum of Natural History. Female lays multiple clutches of 6 to 26 round, brittle-shelled eggs (ca. Mus. 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. A similar but expanded pair of stripes extend posteriorly from eyes onto the neck. Carapace irregularly patterned with small dark spots or dashes that expand into blotches or mottling in large females. Ecology and Conservation St. H. Mem. The male Smooth Softshell Turtle carapaces only reach half of this length. The Smooth Softshell prefers medium-sized to large rivers with moderate to fast flows and Ornate Box Turtle Terrapene ornata ornata The photo gallery below provides information about several of the turtles that are found in Illinois. Identification. It is especially suited for insect hunting. INHS Herpetology Collection 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. 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. For permissions information, contact the Illinois Natural History Survey. The Smooth Softshell Turtle. Currently, the Smooth Softshell Turtle is listed as a State Endangered Species in Illinois and in 2013 we began our research. Compared to other turtle species, the smooth softshell turtles are large. It particularly likes rivers with sandy bottoms where you might find it eating fish, mollusks, and crustaceans. Colors. Only the Eastern Spiny Softshell, A. s. spinifera is found in Illinois. Subspecies: Two subspecies are currently recognized, Gulf Coast Smooth Softshell, A. m. calvata (Webb, 1959) and Midland Smooth Softshell, A. m. mutica. This turtle is very unlikely to be confused with any species except the Spiny Softshell. The Midland Smooth Softshell (Apalone mutica mutica) is the only subspecies that occurs in Indiana. 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 … Status: Endangered. It is the only species of a softshell turtle whose range spans the … The carapaces of the females grow up to 14 inches in length. Keep your eyes open the next time you're near the Mississippi or Wisconsin rivers. Mississippi Mud Turtle Kinosternon subrubrum hippocrepis. As adults, they usually have an area about 1,2228 m long where they generally feed and live. Mississippi Map Turtle Graptemys pseudogeographica kohnii. It is very easy to recognize these turtles from the smooth appearance of their carapaces. Illinois Mud Turtle Kinosternon flavescens spooneri. Females of this species can reach 14-inches while males are about half that length. Only the latter is found in Illinois. Unlike its common relative, the smooth softshell is Illinois state endangered. Note sur deux especes de tortues du genre Trionyx Gff. Natural History: Males and juveniles congregate in sandy shallows to bury in the substrate and bask along exposed banks. 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. woodlands and prairies, while the Smooth Softshell Turtle and Alligator Snapping Turtle favor rivers. Smooth Softshells make very good community turtles. It is most abundant in the latter. Vol. The shell lacks any distinct bumps or coloration. … False Map Turtle Graptemys pseudogeographica pseudogeographica. The spiny softshell turtle occurs throughout the state in lakes, sloughs, mud-bottomed streams, and sand-bottomed rivers. 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. Smooth Softshell Turtle. The color will usually range from olive-gray to dark brown. 2001). Blanding’s Turtles normally dwell in marshes. Small numbers of females and juveniles at one site suggest problems with recruitment in one population; the … Smooth Softshell Turtle Description. Females and males also differ in color. 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. Description: Medium-sized (up to 28 cm CL) turtle with tan, brown, or olive carapace with light posterior border. The smallest Illinois turtle is the spotted turtle, Clemmys guttata. Midland Smooth Softshell Apalone mutica mutica All rights reserved. Midland Painted Turtle Chrysemys picta marginata. The Smooth Softshell inhabits larger rivers and prefers to bask, nest, and conceal itself in sandy areas, like emergent sand bars. Illinois Mud Turtle Kinosternon flavescens spooneri. Females of this species can reach 14-inches while males are about half that length. 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. The smooth softshell turtle is a species of softshell turtle of the family Trionychidae. Habitat: Rivers and large streams having sand substrate, bars, and banks. Email the Web Administrator with questions or comments. Softshell Turtles. University of Kansas Publications. 1827. website. Midland Smooth Softshell Apalone mutica mutica. Similar Species: Spiny Softshell. 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. Relatively nonagressive. Type Locality: “Newharmony, sur le Wabash” [=New Harmony, Wabash River, Posey County, IN], Original Name: Trionyx muticus Le Sueur, 1827. Natur., Paris. © 2018–2020 University of Illinois Board of Trustees. 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. While most turtles have hard shells composed of scutes , the Florida softshell has … That size, the smooth softshell turtle is listed as endangered in Illinois referred to as mutica. 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