Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Florida Red-Belled Turtle or Cooter

I have never had much contact with turtles and I find them fascinating.  So, when I do see one I get quite excited. While in Florida in January I saw turtles on two occasions. I saw several turtles in the Orlando Wetlands Park basking on logs out of the water and I saw several more at the Circle B Bar Reserve in Lakeland in a swamp, partially in and partially out of the water. 
I'm not certain that this is a Florida red-bellied turtle. It could possibly be a peninsula cooter. I don't have the right angle to see whether it has a notched bill. But it has red streaks in the upper carapice which may or may not be an indicator. 
This turtle, near, but different from the one above, has a reddish plastron and basks on a log. 
The Florida red-bellied cooter, or Florida red-bellied turtle, is found in Florida and southern Georgia. It is distinguished from similar turtles by its red-tinged plastron (belly) and two cusps (like teeth) on its upper beak. 
This turtle at the Circle B Bar Reserve has a "u" on its beak created by two cusps, plus it has reddish color on its plastron. 
I saw it turn itself around rather awkwardly using its feet. 

This picture from above makes it look really dull, covered in moss and muck. 

1 comment:

  1. I love that first picture of the turtle on the rock and the perfect reflection in the water.