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Blanding's Turtle (Emydoidea blandingii)

This secretive denizen of southern Maine vernal pools and pocket swamps is rarely seen. With its helmet-shaped carapace (upper shell) and hinged plastron (bottom shell), the Blanding's turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) may be mistaken for a box turtle by the casual observer. The Blanding's turtle is 7-9 inches long and distinguished by a black or dark-olive carapace usually patterned with tan or yellow spots or streaks. The head is large with a notched upper jaw and a long, bright yellow neck, throat, and chin. The plastron varies from yellow with dark blotches to almost completely black, and has a moveable hinge used to partially close the shell. Males have a darkly pigmented upper jaw and concave plastron, whereas females have a yellow upper jaw and a flat plastron.

Read the MDIF&W fact sheet on Blanding's Turtles to learn more

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