Highly domed, smooth upper shell. Reduced bottom shell. Fleshy projections protruding from chin/neck. Commonly has two cream coloured lines running along either side of the head, above and below the eyes.
Size: 9-12 cm
The Eastern Musk Turtle is easily recognized by its' narrow, high arched shell which is less than 13 cm long. Other turtles have wide and flat shells. This turtle has a dull black-brown body except for two distinctive yellow stripes often found on the side of the head. When disturbed the turtle lets off a musky, skunk-like scent.
Range: Quebec, Ontario
Southern Ontario and southern Québec
Habitat: Musk Turtles typically inhabit shallow lakes, rivers, marshes and ponds. The prefer waterbodies with soft muddy bottoms and slow moving currents.
Diet: This turtle will eat aquatic invertibrates including crayfish, freshwater clams, snails, tadpoles and insects. Later in life they will start to eat aquatic plant life as well.
The eastern musk turtle matures in three or four years. Nesting occurs from late May to early July, usually within 45 metres of water. The nests contain from two to five eggs. The hatchlings emerge in the fall and are approximately two centimetres in length. The incubation temperature of the nest determines the gender of the hatchlings.Status:
ThreatenedNotes: The eastern musk turtle is generally nocturnal. Eastern musk turtles rarely swim; instead they walk along the bottom of lakes and rivers. The Musk Turtle earned its name from the distinctive musky odor it can produce when threatened. A small cryptic turtle, rather than basking in the open like most other freshwater turtles, Musk Turtles usually bask under floating aquatic vegetation, like lily pads.