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Canada's Species   Amphibians and reptiles

Map Turtle

Graptemys geographica

Photo:David Rodrigue
Map Turtle. Photo:David Rodrigue

Fairly large as turtles go, the female map turtle's shell can reach a length of 27 centimeters, with males being considerably smaller. Its brown carapace is decorated with complex patterns of yellow lines, as are its head and limbs. In fact, its common name derives from the map-like appearance of these patterns. The map turtle's habitat is limited to bodies of water, usually large, in southern Ontario and Quebec. Accordingly, its prefered food is molluscs, although it will also eat insects, crayfish and fish. One can rarely get a close look at a map turtle in wild as they are extremely wary and will dive when approached.

Map of Map Turtle in Canada
Distribution of Map Turtle in Canada

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