Profiles various amphibian and reptile species in the province. The profiles describe the species and their homes, what they eat, where they live, how they are doing, and what?s being done to help them in B.C. The Painted Turtle gets its name from the bold yellow stripes ?painted? on its head, neck, legs, and tail, and from the red, irregularly shaped markings that pattern the plastron (belly shell) and under-rim of the carapace (back shell). The carapace of these turtles is black to greenish black, and males may have dark worm-like markings. Females are larger than males with plastrons up to 25 centimetres long. Male plastrons measure between 9 and 17 cm long. Claws on the front feet also differ between sexes- males have long slender claws while females have short claws. As the only native freshwater turtle in B.C., the Painted Turtle is unlikely to be confused with any other species. However, the Slider, with a bright red patch on each ?ear,? has unfortunately been released into wetlands by pet owners in many parts of B.C. The Western Pond Turtle, once resident in the Lower Mainland, no longer occurs in the province.
Ministry of Environment. 2007. Painted Turtle (turtle watch factsheet). Ministry of Environment. Frogwatch factsheet. 1