Common Snapping Turtle

Chelydra serpentina

Description:  This is a large (up to 16" across the shell), dark turtle with a large head, long tail, and ridged shell.  It frequently threatens to bite, and may lunge at anything that it perceives as a threat.  Its skin is wrinkled and warty, particularly in the throat region.  It has a long ridged tail.

Habitat:  Can be found in any aquatic situation, including rivers and ponds, but is partial to slow, vegetated waters.  The scarcity of this habitat in the Nueces Canyon makes the occurrence of this species here questionable.

Abundance:  Has not been confirmed in the Nueces Canyon.

Conservation Status:  Common to abundant in East Texas, becoming progressively more scarce the farther west one travels.  It is possibly threatened by the increasing trade in turtles for Asian food markets.

Comments:  Needs to be confirmed for the Nueces Canyon.