|Description: A large (up
to 18") water turtle with a smooth, flat, leathery shell. The
skeletal elements of the shell are greatly reduced, and this turtle
often rests on the bottom with its flattened shell lying flush or even
partially buried - this serves to hide the turtle from both predators
and prey. Young turtles and males are boldly marked with facial
stripes and a light marginal band, while old females have obscure and
irregular blotchy patterns. The turtle has a long, slender snout
which allows it to breath without surfacing - using the snout as a
Habitat: This turtle may be found in any aquatic situation but is most common in rivers and streams.
Distribution: Probably occurs throughout the Nueces River and its tributaries.
Abundance: Uncommon - we have only observed a single individual in the Nueces Canyon.
Conservation Status: Like most large turtles in Texas, this turtle is threatened by over-collection for Asian food turtle trade.
Comments: The subspecies of this species are poorly defined.