Southwestern Center for Herpetological Research - Conservation - Preservation - Education - Public Information - Research - Field Studies - Captive Propagation - Advancing knowledge and understanding of the herpetofauna of the American Southwest


   Below is a current list representing the forty-two (42) species and subspecies of turtles that occur in the region that
   we   have defined as being the American Southwest.

   Our goal is to eventually one or more photographs for every species/subspecies. We also plan to eventually provide
   habitat photographs and range maps for as many species as possible along with the legal/protective status of each in
   the states where they occur within our region.

To help maintain some degree of taxonomic stability and reduce confusion, we here at the Southwestern Center for Herpetological Research (SWCHR) have elected to take a conservative taxonomic approach when deciding which scientific and common names to utilize in this species listing. Please click here for an explanation of our philosophy regarding taxonomic issues. In cases where we feel that the current taxonomy of a species/subspecies is either controversial, or if we for any reason elected not to follow either Scientific and Standard English Names of Amphibians and reptiles of North America North of Mexico with Comments Regarding Confidence in Our Understanding, 6th Edition, 2008 by Brian I. Crother, et al or Standard Common and Current Scientific Names for North American Amphibians, Turtles, Reptiles, and Crocodilians, 7th Edition (2009) by Joseph T. Collins and Travis W. Taggart, we have linked a taxonomic note to the listing which explains our reasoning.

Those species and subspecies that do have photos available are identified as clickable links on the list below. If you have good quality photographs that you have taken of species/subspecies that do not yet have photos, you are encouraged to submit them for possible inclusion.

A Red-eared Slider (<i>Trachemys scripta elegans</i>) finds itself sharing it's basking spot with an American Coot  in Nueces County, Texas.
A Red-eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) finds itself  sharing
it's basking spot  with an  American Coot  in  Nueces County, Texas
                                                                  Photo by D. Craig McIntyre


Loggerhead Sea Turtle- Caretta caretta

Green Sea Turtle - Chelonia mydas

Atlantic Hawksbill Sea Turtle- Eretmochelys imbricata imbricata

Pacific Hawksbill Sea Turtle- Eretmochelys imbricata bissa

Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle- Lepidochelys kempii

Olive Ridley Sea Turtle - Lepidochelys olivacea

CHELYDRIDAE (Snapping Turtles)

Eastern Snapping Turtle - Chelydra serpentina serpentina

Alligator Snapping Turtle - Macrochelys temminckii

DERMOCHELYIDAE (Leatherback Sea Turtles)

Leatherback Sea Turtle - Dermochelys coriacea

EMYDIDAE (Box and Water Turtles)

Western Pond Turtle - Actinemys marmorata

Southern Painted Turtle - Chrysemys dorsalis

Western Painted Turtle - Chrysemys picta bellii

Western Chicken Turtle - Deirochelys reticularia miaria

Cagle's Map Turtle - Graptemys caglei

Ouachita Map Turtle - Graptemys ouachitensis ouachitensis

Sabine Map Turtle - Graptemys ouachitensis sabinensis

Mississippi Map Turtle - Graptemys pseudogeographica kohnii

Texas Map Turtle - Graptemys versa

Texas Diamond-backed Terrapin - Malaclemys terrapin littoralis

Eastern River Cooter - Pseudemys concinna concinna

Rio Grande Cooter - Pseudemys gorzugi

Texas River Cooter - Pseudemys texana

Three-toed Box Turtle - Terrapene carolina triunguis

Ornate Box Turtle - Terrapene ornata ornata

Desert Box Turtle - Terrapene ornata luteola

Big Bend Slider - Trachemys gaigeae gaigeae

Red-eared Slider - Trachemys scripta elegans

KINOSTERNIDAE (Mud and Musk Turtles)

Arizona Mud Turtle - Kinosternon arizonense

Yellow Mud Turtle - Kinosternon flavescens

Mexican Plateau Mud Turtle - Kinosternon hirtipes murrayi

Sonora Mud Turtle - Kinosternon sonoriense sonoriense

Sonoyta Mud Turtle - Kinosternon sonoriense longifemorale

Mississippi Mud Turtle - Kinosternon subrubrum hippocrepis

Razor-backed Musk Turtle - Sternotherus carinatus

Eastern Musk Turtle - Sternotherus odoratus

TESTUDINIDAE (Gopher Tortoises)

Desert Tortoise - Gopherus agassizii

Texas Tortoise - Gopherus berlandieri

TRIONYCHIDAE (Softshell Turtles)

Midland Smooth Softshell Turtle - Apalone mutica mutica

Texas Spiny Softshell Turtle - Apalone spinifera emoryi

Guadalupe Spiny Softshell Turtle - Apalone spinifera guadalupensis

Western Spiny Softshell Turtle - Apalone spinifera hartwegi

Pallid Spiny Softshell Turtle - Apalone spinifera pallida

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