This is a database of all native turtles in USA according to the states. The list is not complete yet. I’ll continue to add more turtle species as I find them.

Native Turtles In Alabama

Alabama Red-bellied Turtle (Pseudemys alabamensis)

This turtle species is known for its distinctive red belly and is primarily found in Alabama, particularly in the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta. They are semi-aquatic and can grow up to about 12 inches in length.

Alabama Red-bellied Turtle

Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina)

A land-dwelling turtle famous for its hinged shell, allowing it to completely close its shell for protection. It has a variable shell pattern with vivid colors, typically growing to around 4-6 inches in length. They are found in the eastern United States.

eastern box turtle

Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina)

Known for its powerful beak-like jaws and aggressive nature when out of water, this species is widespread across North America. They are large, often exceeding 18 inches in shell length and are predominantly aquatic.

Eastern Mud Turtle (Kinosternon subrubrum)

A small, dull-colored turtle, usually not exceeding 5 inches in length, found in the eastern United States. They live in muddy or marshy waters and have a relatively unremarkable brown or black shell.

Barbour’s Map Turtle (Graptemys barbouri)

This species is known for its intricate shell markings, resembling a topographic map. Found primarily in river systems in the southeastern United States, they are medium-sized turtles with females being larger than males.

Spotted Turtle (Clemmys guttata)

A small, black turtle with distinct yellow spots on its shell. It inhabits wetlands and marshy areas in the eastern United States and Canada. They typically grow to about 4-5 inches in length.

Yellow-bellied Slider (Trachemys scripta scripta)

A freshwater turtle with a distinctive yellow belly, found in the southeastern United States. They are closely related to the red-eared slider and can grow to around 8-12 inches.

yellow bellied slider basking

Alabama Map Turtle (Graptemys pulchra)

Similar to Barbour’s map turtle, this species has intricate shell patterns and prefers river habitats. Endemic to Alabama, they are medium-sized, with females generally larger than males.

Alabama Map Turtle

Gulf Coast Spiny Softshell Turtle (Apalone spinifera aspera)

A subspecies of the spiny softshell turtle, it has a leathery shell and a snorkel-like nose. Found in rivers, lakes, and ponds along the Gulf Coast, they can grow quite large, with females being significantly larger than males.

Native Turtles In Alaska

Alaska, due to its cold climate and northern latitude, is not a natural habitat for turtles. As a result, there are no native turtle species in Alaska. Turtles are generally found in warmer environments, and Alaska’s harsh, cold conditions are not suitable for these reptiles.

Native Turtles In Arizona

Sonoran Mud Turtle (Kinosternon sonoriense)

Found primarily in the Sonoran Desert region of the United States and Mexico, this turtle prefers freshwater habitats like ponds, streams, and rivers. They are medium-sized, generally growing up to 8 inches in length, with olive to dark brown shells. They are known for their adaptability to arid environments.

Sonoran Mud Turtle

Western Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta bellii)

This subspecies of the painted turtle is noted for its bright, colorful markings, with red and yellow stripes on its limbs and a dark shell with red and yellow patterns. They inhabit freshwater environments across the western United States and are medium-sized, usually growing up to 10 inches in length.

Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii)

Native to the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts of the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico, this land-dwelling tortoise is adapted to a life in arid conditions. They have high-domed shells and can grow to about 10-14 inches in length. They spend much of their time in burrows to escape extreme temperatures.

desert-tortoise

Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina)

Known for its powerful beak-like jaws and aggressive nature when out of water, this species is widespread across North America. They are large, often exceeding 18 inches in shell length and are predominantly aquatic.

Spiny Softshell Turtle (Apalone spinifera)

This species is characterized by its flat, leathery shell and snorkel-like nose. They are found in various freshwater habitats across North America. They can be quite large, especially females, who are significantly larger than males, sometimes reaching over 18 inches in shell length. They are known for their agility in water and basking in the sun.

spiny softshell turtle care

Ornate Box Turtle (Terrapene ornata)

This species is found in the central United States and is known for the ornate, star-like patterns on its shell. They are relatively small, usually reaching around 4-5 inches in length, and prefer prairie habitats.

How To Take Care Of Ornate Box Turtle

Native Turtles In Arkansas

Alligator Snapping Turtle (Macrochelys temminckii)

One of the largest freshwater turtles in the world, found primarily in southeastern United States. Known for its massive size (up to 26 inches shell length), strong jaws, and distinct ridges on its shell, resembling an alligator’s back.

Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina)

Known for its powerful beak-like jaws and aggressive nature when out of water, this species is widespread across North America. They are large, often exceeding 18 inches in shell length and are predominantly aquatic.

Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina)

A land-dwelling turtle with a high-domed shell that can completely enclose its body. Found in the eastern United States, it has a variable shell pattern with colors ranging from brown to orange.

Gulf Coast Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina major)

A subspecies of the common box turtle, larger in size, found along the Gulf Coast. It has a dark shell with radiating yellow patterns.

Three-toed Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina triunguis)

Another subspecies of the common box turtle, distinguished by typically having three toes on the hind feet. It’s found in the central United States, with a shell color ranging from brown to olive with yellow markings.

Western Chicken Turtle (Deirochelys reticularia miaria)

A semi-aquatic turtle known for its long, striped neck and a net-like pattern on its shell. Found in the southeastern United States, particularly in slow-moving waters.

Eastern River Cooter (Pseudemys concinna concinna)

A large, freshwater turtle with a dark shell marked with light yellow lines. Common in rivers and streams in the southeastern United States, it is known for basking in the sun and is an adept swimmer.

Northern Map Turtle (Graptemys geographica)

Found in freshwater habitats across eastern North America, this turtle is recognized by the map-like markings on its olive or brown shell. They are medium-sized and are particularly known for their keen eyesight.

Ouachita Map Turtle (Graptemys ouachitensis)

Native to the Ouachita River system in the United States, this species has a distinct pattern on its shell resembling contour lines on a map. They prefer large rivers with swift currents.

False Map Turtle (Graptemys pseudogeographica)

Similar in appearance to other map turtles, this species is found in the Mississippi River Valley. It has a less pronounced ridge on its shell compared to the Northern Map Turtle.

false map turtle

Razorback Musk Turtle (Sternotherus carinatus)

A small, aquatic turtle known for the high, sharp-edged ridge down the center of its shell. Found in the southeastern United States, they inhabit slow-moving waters.

Razorback Musk Turtle lifespan

Stinkpot or Eastern Musk Turtle (Sternotherus odoratus)

A small, primarily aquatic turtle with a dark, unpatterned shell. Found throughout eastern North America, it releases a musky odor when threatened, hence the name “stinkpot.”

Smooth Softshell Turtle (Apalone mutica)

Known for its smooth, flat, leathery shell and snorkel-like nose. Found in rivers and streams across the central United States, they are fast swimmers and agile on land.

Spiny Softshell Turtle (Apalone spinifera)

This species is characterized by its flat, leathery shell and snorkel-like nose. They are found in various freshwater habitats across North America. They can be quite large, especially females, who are significantly larger than males, sometimes reaching over 18 inches in shell length. They are known for their agility in water and basking in the sun.

Red-eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans)

A popular pet turtle, recognizable by the distinctive red marks around its ears. Native to the southeastern United States, it’s highly adaptable and often found in ponds, lakes, and streams.

River Cooter (Pseudemys concinna)

A large, freshwater turtle with an oval, patterned shell, found in rivers and streams in the southeastern United States. They are strong swimmers and are often seen basking on logs or rocks.

river cooter turtle

Native Turtles In California

Western Pond Turtle (Actinemys marmorata)

This species, also known as the Pacific Pond Turtle, is found along the western coast of the United States, from Washington state to Baja California. They are medium-sized, typically growing up to 8 inches in shell length. Their shell is usually dark brown or olive, often with a marbled pattern. Western Pond Turtles inhabit a variety of water bodies, including ponds, streams, and rivers, and are known for their basking behavior.

Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii)

Native to the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts of the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico, this land-dwelling tortoise is adapted to a life in arid conditions. They have high-domed shells and can grow to about 10-14 inches in length. They spend much of their time in burrows to escape extreme temperatures.

desert-tortoise

Southwestern Pond Turtle (Actinemys pallida)

This species, recently recognized as distinct from the Western Pond Turtle, is found in southwestern California and Baja California, Mexico. They are similar in appearance to the Western Pond Turtle but have a lighter, more grayish shell color. Southwestern Pond Turtles are semi-aquatic and inhabit various freshwater environments such as ponds, streams, and rivers. They are also known for basking on logs or rocks near water.

Southwestern Pond Turtle

Additionally, there are various sea turtles that can be found off the coast of California, though they are not typically resident species. These include:

Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta)

This species is widely distributed throughout the oceanic world, particularly in subtropical and temperate regions. Loggerhead turtles are known for their large heads and strong jaws. They typically have a reddish-brown shell and can grow quite large, often exceeding 3 feet in shell length. They primarily feed on invertebrates like crabs, mollusks, and jellyfish.

Leatherback Sea Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)

The largest of all living turtles, leatherbacks are unique for their lack of a hard shell. Instead, their carapace is covered in leathery skin with embedded bony plates. They can grow up to 6-7 feet in length and are highly migratory, found in all oceans from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Leatherbacks primarily feed on jellyfish and are known for their ability to dive to great depths.

Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas)

Named for the greenish color of their cartilage and fat, green sea turtles are found in tropical and subtropical oceans worldwide. They have a smooth, heart-shaped shell and are primarily herbivorous, feeding on sea grasses and algae. Adults can grow to about 3-4 feet in shell length. Green sea turtles are known for their long migrations between feeding grounds and the beaches where they nest.

Olive Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea)

The smallest of the sea turtles, the Olive Ridley is named for its olive-colored shell. They are widely distributed in the warm waters of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans. These turtles are known for their unique mass nesting called “arribada,” where thousands of females come ashore to lay eggs. They typically grow to about 2 feet in shell length and feed on a variety of marine organisms, including jellyfish, snails, and algae.

Native Turtles In Colorado

Western Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta bellii)

This is a subspecies of the painted turtle, widely distributed across the western United States. It is known for its bright, colorful markings, including red, yellow, and green stripes and patterns on its skin and shell. The Western Painted Turtle inhabits freshwater environments such as ponds, lakes, and slow-moving rivers. They are medium-sized, usually growing up to about 10 inches in shell length.

Ornate Box Turtle (Terrapene ornata)

This species is found in the central United States, particularly in grassland habitats. The Ornate Box Turtle is known for the beautiful, star-like patterns on its high-domed shell. They are relatively small, with adults typically reaching around 4-5 inches in length. This terrestrial turtle is omnivorous, feeding on a variety of plants and small animals.

Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina)

Known for its powerful beak-like jaws and aggressive nature when out of water, this species is widespread across North America. They are large, often exceeding 18 inches in shell length and are predominantly aquatic.

Spiny Softshell Turtle (Apalone spinifera)

This species is characterized by its flat, leathery shell and snorkel-like nose. They are found in various freshwater habitats across North America. They can be quite large, especially females, who are significantly larger than males, sometimes reaching over 18 inches in shell length. They are known for their agility in water and basking in the sun.

Native Turtles In Connecticut

Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina)

A land-dwelling turtle with a highly domed shell that can close completely. It’s found in the eastern United States and is known for its varied shell patterns, often with a mix of orange, brown, and yellow.

Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina)

Known for its powerful beak-like jaws and aggressive nature when out of water, this species is widespread across North America. They are large, often exceeding 18 inches in shell length and are predominantly aquatic.

Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta)

This widely distributed North American turtle is known for its bright, colorful markings, including red, yellow, and green stripes on its limbs and shell. They inhabit freshwater environments like ponds, lakes, and rivers.

Wild painted turtle safely crossing sandy road in Martha's Vineyard, MA, USA

Spotted Turtle (Clemmys guttata)

A small, black turtle with distinct yellow spots on its shell. They prefer wetland habitats and are found in the eastern United States and Southeastern Canada.

Wood Turtle (Glyptemys insculpta)

Known for its sculpted, wood-like shell appearance, this turtle inhabits forested and semi-aquatic environments in the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada. They are medium-sized, omnivorous, and known for their intelligence.

Northern Diamondback Terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin terrapin)

A subspecies of the Diamondback Terrapin, found in brackish waters along the eastern and Gulf Coast of the United States. They have unique diamond-shaped carapace scutes and often have a gray to white skin with dark spots.

Northern Diamondback Terrapin

Eastern Mud Turtle (Kinosternon subrubrum)

A small, dull-colored turtle usually found in muddy or marshy environments of the eastern United States. They have a relatively unremarkable brown or black shell and are highly aquatic.

Musk Turtle (Sternotherus odoratus)

Also known as the Stinkpot, this small aquatic turtle is found in the eastern United States. It has a dark, unpatterned shell and releases a musky odor when threatened.

Razorback musk turtle or sternotherus carinatus isolated on table. High quality photo

Blanding’s Turtle (Emydoidea blandingii)

This medium-sized turtle has a distinctive bright yellow chin and throat. Its carapace is domed but slightly flattened and black with yellow speckles. Blanding’s Turtles are found in wetland areas of the Great Lakes region and the northeastern United States.

blanding's turtle winking

Native Turtles In Delaware

Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina)

A terrestrial turtle with a distinctive, highly domed shell that can close completely. Found in the eastern United States, it has varied shell patterns, often with a mix of orange, brown, and yellow.

Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina)

Known for its powerful beak-like jaws and aggressive nature when out of water, this species is widespread across North America. They are large, often exceeding 18 inches in shell length and are predominantly aquatic.

Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta)

Known for its bright, colorful markings, including red, yellow, and green stripes on its limbs and shell. Found in freshwater environments across North America.

Wild painted turtle safely crossing sandy road in Martha's Vineyard, MA, USA

Spotted Turtle (Clemmys guttata):

A small, black turtle with distinct yellow spots on its shell. Inhabits wetlands and marshy areas in the eastern United States and Southeastern Canada.

Diamondback Terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin)

Inhabits brackish waters along the eastern and Gulf Coast of the United States. Known for its unique diamond-shaped carapace scutes and often gray to white skin with dark spots.

Red-bellied Turtle (Pseudemys rubriventris)

A freshwater turtle with a distinctive red or orange plastron (belly shell). Found in ponds, rivers, and marshes in the eastern United States.

Florida red-bellied turtle eating a yellow pond lily

Eastern Mud Turtle (Kinosternon subrubrum)

A small, dull-colored turtle, usually found in muddy or marshy environments in the eastern United States. It has a brown or black shell and is highly aquatic.

Musk Turtle (Sternotherus odoratus)

Also known as the Stinkpot, this small, aquatic turtle is found in the eastern United States. It has a dark, unpatterned shell and emits a musky odor when threatened.

musk turtle filled with mud

Blanding’s Turtle (Emydoidea blandingii)

Recognizable by its bright yellow chin and throat, this turtle has a domed but slightly flattened carapace with black and yellow speckles. Found in wetlands in the Great Lakes region and the northeastern United States.

Wood Turtle (Glyptemys insculpta)

Known for its sculpted, wood-like shell appearance, this turtle is found in forested and semi-aquatic environments in the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada. They are medium-sized and omnivorous.

wood turtle

Native Turtles In Florida

Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta)

Large marine turtle known for its large head, found in oceans worldwide. Feeds primarily on invertebrates.

Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas)

Named for its green fat, this turtle is found in warm coastal waters around the world. It’s primarily herbivorous.

Leatherback Sea Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)

The largest sea turtle species, distinguished by its leathery shell. Found globally, it feeds primarily on jellyfish.

Hawksbill Sea Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata)

Recognizable by its pointed beak and beautiful shell, found in tropical oceans. Known for eating sponges.

Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys kempii)

The smallest sea turtle, known for its unique mass nesting behavior called arribada. Found mainly in the Gulf of Mexico.

Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina)

A land-dwelling turtle with a high-domed shell that can completely enclose its body. Found in the eastern United States, it has a variable shell pattern with colors ranging from brown to orange.

Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina)

Known for its powerful beak-like jaws and aggressive nature when out of water, this species is widespread across North America. They are large, often exceeding 18 inches in shell length and are predominantly aquatic.

Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus)

A terrestrial turtle found in the southeastern United States, known for digging extensive burrows.

Gopher tortoise

Striped Mud Turtle (Kinosternon baurii)

A small turtle with three stripes on its shell, found in the southeastern U.S. Lives in slow-moving freshwater bodies.

3 Striped Mud Turtle

Loggerhead Musk Turtle (Sternotherus minor)

A small aquatic turtle with a large head, similar to the loggerhead sea turtle. Found in the southeastern United States.

loggerhead Musk Turtle lifespan

Florida Softshell Turtle (Apalone ferox)

A freshwater turtle with a flat, soft shell, found primarily in Florida. It’s carnivorous, feeding on fish, insects, and amphibians.

Diamondback Terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin)

Lives in brackish waters along the eastern U.S. coast. Known for its diamond-shaped shell patterns.

Northern Diamondback Terrapin

Peninsula Cooter (Pseudemys peninsularis)

A large freshwater turtle found in Florida, noted for its striking shell patterns.

Florida Red-bellied Cooter (Pseudemys nelsoni)

A freshwater turtle with a distinctive red belly, native to Florida.

Suwannee Cooter (Pseudemys concinna suwanniensis)

Found in the Suwannee River, Florida. Similar to other cooters but adapted to the tannic waters of the river.

Chicken Turtle (Deirochelys reticularia)

Named for its long, striped neck. Found in the southeastern United States, in ponds and marshes.

Florida Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina bauri)

A subspecies of the Eastern Box Turtle, found in Florida. Has a high-domed shell with colorful patterns.

Yellow-bellied Slider (Trachemys scripta scripta)

A freshwater turtle with a yellow belly, found in the southeastern United States. Similar to the red-eared slider.

yellow bellied slider diet

Native Turtles In Georgia

Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta)

Large marine turtle known for its large head, found in oceans worldwide. Feeds primarily on invertebrates.

Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas)

Distinguished by its large, smooth, greenish shell, this sea turtle is mainly herbivorous, feeding on seagrasses and algae. It’s found in warm seas worldwide.

Green sea turtle at New England Aquarium in Boston, Massachusetts

Leatherback Sea Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)

The largest of all sea turtles, the leatherback has a distinctive leathery shell instead of a hard one. It’s known for its deep diving and long migrations, feeding mostly on jellyfish.

leatherback turtles speed

Hawksbill Sea Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata)

This smaller sea turtle has a beautifully patterned shell that resembles a hawk’s beak. It typically inhabits coral reefs where it feeds on sponges and invertebrates.

Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys kempii)

The smallest sea turtle, this species is known for its unique mass nesting called “arribada.” It has a grayish-green shell and primarily feeds on crabs.

Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina)

A land-dwelling turtle with a domed shell that can close completely. It’s omnivorous and found in forested areas of the Eastern United States.

How To Take Care Of Eastern Box Turtle

Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina)

Known for its aggressive behavior when out of water, this large freshwater turtle has a powerful jaw and a rugged shell, found in a variety of water bodies.