Monday, September 7, 2015

Striped Mud Turtle

I believe this creature that I photographed last March in the Bailey Tract of the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge is a Striped Mud Turtle. The yellow head stripes are just barely visible. The species is found throughout most of Florida and up the Atlantic coastal plain to southeastern Virginia. These turtles inhabit swamps and canals. Striped Mud Turtles are odd in that the females nest in the fall, unlike other species that breed in the spring or summer (Savannah River Ecology Lab).

I was surprised as I worked on this photo for presentation for my blog. Do you see the damselfly on the turtle’s back? I never saw the damsel when I took the photograph. Greatly enlarging the photo does not give a definite identification, but the damsel may well be an Eastern Forktail.

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