|Description: A large (up
to 14") water turtle with a delicately ringed pattern on its shell.
Its head is striped with yellow on a black or dark green ground color.
It is completely herbivorous.
Habitat: This turtle prefers clear waters with abundant aquatic vegetation upon which to feed.
Distribution: There are two very old records for this species in the Nueces Canyon. Prior to the 1950s, the Nueces River contained suitable habitat while today, aquatic vegetation has been all but exterminated with the development of extensive gravel bars. Possibly occurs in the upper portions of Hackberry Creek or the Middle Nueces.
Abundance: Probably has been extirpated from the Nueces River.
Conservation Status: Like most large turtles in Texas, this turtle is threatened by over-collection for Asian food turtle trade.
Comments: The Nueces Canyon records are so old that it is not entirely certain what species historically occurred here. At the time of the last record, all Texas populations of River sliders were considered to represent a single species - Pseudemys concinna. Since that time, Central Texas populations have been described as Pseudemys texana, while Rio Grande populations have been describe as Pseudemys gorzugi. Turtles in the Frio & South Llano Rivers are Texas Sliders, while populations at Brackettville and Del Rio are Rio Grande Sliders. With the Nueces Canyon being intermediate between these two rivers, it remains possible that our turtles may have been Rio Grande Sliders. The hatchling turtle at right is a Rio Grande Slider.