Colorado Herpetological Society

Colorado's Turtles
by Lauren J. Livo
Evaluate the criteria below to identify a species.

1a. Shell flat and leathery, with row of raised tubercles. Apalone spinifera
Western Spiny softshell
1b. Shell not as above. go to 2
2a. Conspicuous yellow lines radiating on upper shell, primarily terrestrial. Terrapene ornata
Ornate box turtle
2b. Not as above. go to 3
3a. Upper shell mostly greenish, ventral surface orange or red, head with yellow streaks. Chrysemys picta
Painted turtle
3b. Not as above. go to 4
4a. Lower shell lacking hinge; upper shell mostly brownish with saw-toothed rear margin. Chelydra serpentina
Snapping turtle
4b. Lower shell with hinge; upper shell lacking saw-toothed rear margin. Kinosternon flavescens
Yellow mud turtle