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Common Map Turtle

Graptemys geographica


The oval shaped carapace has a distinct midline low ridge or keel and is roughly notched at the base. Carapace color is olive green to brown with a network of dull, light markings resembling a map. This pattern often fades with age. Plastron is yellow to cream. Head is dark with yellow stripes. A light yellow spot behind the eye is roughly triangular. Head is larger in females. Tail is longer in males.



Carapace measures 3 - 10 inches



Similar Species

False map and Ouachita map turtles


Snails, crayfish make up the main diet. Insects, fish, carrion, and aquatic plants are also eaten by this species.


Map turtles inhabit rivers and large creeks with pools and riffles. Soft sandy or rocky bottom with vegetation is optimum habitat. May also frequent lakes, sloughs, and marshes.


A heavy basking species, often with several others on the same log. Quickly dives into deep water when alarmed. Active through most of the year except January and December.

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Common Map Turtle

Common Map Turtle

Common Map Turtle

Graptemys geographica

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