Blanding’s Turtle

Scientific Name: Emydoidea blandingii

Blanding’s turtles have protruding eyes and a very domed, smooth black carapace (upper shell) with small, irregular tan or yellow flecking.  The most distinctive characteristic of this species is the bright yellow chin and throat.  It also has a very long neck, in comparison to other species.  The hinged plastron (lower shell) is yellow with a large dark blotch in the corner of each scute (enlarged scale on the shell), but it may also be almost entirely black.  In adults, the carapace is up to 28cm in length.  They can be found in ponds, wetlands, as well as the shorelines of larger water bodies.

Female Blanding’s turtles do not mature until at least age 14, and individuals can live to be over 75 years old.  In late May or early June, the female excavates a nest in a sunny area with good drainage and lays up to 22 oval, dull white, hard-shelled eggs.  In the fall, 3-4cm long hatchlings will emerge and seek shelter immediately.

Facts are from SARO (Species at Risk in Ontario), Ontario Nature, and the Ontario Turtle Conservation Center.
Photos are courtesy of DTW volunteers.