smooth softshell turtle

Scientific name Apalone mutica
Descriptor LeSueur
Year of description 1827
IUCN category LC
Family Trionychidae
Genus Apalone
Apalone mutica Apalone mutica

Introduction

Apalone mutica, commonly known as smooth softshell turtle, is a fresh water reptile from the North America.

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Who is it?

Morphology

  • Type
  • Female size
    30 - 50 cm
  • Male size
    20 - 25 cm
  • Weight
    10 - 15 kg
  • Motif
    ponctuations
  • Mimicry
    sand
  • Longevity
    25 year
  • Type
  • Female size
    30 - 50 cm
  • Male size
    20 - 25 cm
  • Weight
    10 - 15 kg
  • Motif
    ponctuations
  • Mimicry
    sand
  • Longevity
    25 year

How to recognize the smooth softshell turtle ?

The smooth softshell turtle measures around 20 cm. The females are more imposing and some specimens can reach 25 cm. This reptile is bicolore with a predominantly marron and beige body. The also has marron ponctuations.

Sexual dimorphism

The female is bigger than the male.

Behaviour & Life cycle

  • Sociability
    solitary
  • Way of living
    diurnal
  • Venomous
    No
  • Diet
    predator

The smooth softshell turtle is a reptile solitary naturally found on the bottom. This species is carnivorous .

The smooth softshell turtle is a territorial animal that does not tolerate any incursions into its living area. It is particularly virulent against other territorial species and it can provoke heated fights. Relationships between conspecifics are also hectic, with each seeking to secure its place. In a constant quest for dominance, the dominant males of this species cannot stand each other. The battle between two individuals can be intense and violent. It will result in the submission and sometimes even death of one of the protagonists.

Reproduction

  • Reproduction
    ovipare qui enfouit ses œufs
  • Polygamy
    Yes
  • Clutch size
    15 - 25 eggs

The smooth softshell turtle is a reptile ovipare qui enfouit ses œufs. In this species, the dominant males are polygamous and reproduce each season with several females. This reptile protects its eggs from nearby predators.

Harmless species

This species does not represent any particular threats to humans when encountered in its natural environment.

Where to find it?

What is its habitat?

Natural environment characteristics

  • Temperature
    5 - 30 °C
  • Flow
    Strong and Medium

Biotope presentation

The acidification of water comes from the decomposition of plants. This phenomenon changes the color of the water, which tends to turn brown. In some areas particularly rich in organic matter, the water is so dark that it is called "black water".

The smooth softshell turtle is most often found at a depth between 0m and 2m. However, it is not impossible to find this species at other depths.

The smooth softshell turtle prefers well oxygenated waters in current areas and rapids. It frequents fast flowing waters where the bottom is strewn with pebbles, wood or leaves carried by the current. It can be found not far from waterfalls .

Species of the same biotope

To go further

To read on the web

Sources & Contributions

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