Eastern Spiny Softshell

Apalone spinifera

Summary 7

The spiny softshell turtle (Apalone spinifera) is a species of softshell turtle, one of the largest freshwater turtle species in North America. They get their name from the spiny, cone-like projections on the leading edge of their carapaces, which are not scutes (scales).

Distribution 8

Apalone spinifera occupies areas from central-eastern U.S. (western New York and southern Carolina) to Wisconsin and from Minnesota and southern Ontario as far south as Mexico. The eastern spiny soft-shell turtle (A. spinifera spinifera) occupies the ranges from western New York to Wisconsin south to the Tennessee River, with a population in the lower part of Canada, by the Ottawa River. The Western spiny soft-shell (A. spinifera hartwegi) occupies territory that ranges from Minnesota to Arkansas west to south east Wyoming, eastern Colorado, and north eastern New Mexico, with a large population in the Missouri River drainage in Montana. The Gulf spiny soft-shell turtle (A. spinifera aspera) can be found from northern Carolina to Alabama and south to the northern tip of Florida. The Guadalupe subspecies (A. spinifera guadalupensis) can be found from south central Texas to the Colorado river system. The Pallid subspecies (A. spinifera pallida) can be found in western Louisiana to southern Oklahoma, and most of the northern and eastern parts of Texas. The Texas subspecies (A. spinifera emoryi) occupies the Rio Grande to the Pecos river drainages and south to Rio Purificacion, Tamaulipas and also from southwest new Mexico and south west Utah to the Gulf of California with an isolated population in eastern central Arizona (Conant and Collins 1998).

Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Native )

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) Erin and Lance Willett, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-ND), http://www.flickr.com/photos/60477398@N00/325289939
  2. (c) James Parham, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3579/3500818984_24337311f9.jpg
  3. (c) Gerry Salmon, all rights reserved, http://www.inaturalist.org/photos/976101
  4. (c) Marek Velechovský, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), https://www.biolib.cz/IMG/GAL/99328.jpg
  5. (c) 2011 Todd Pierson, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), http://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi/img_query?seq_num=346083&one=T
  6. (c) 2011 Todd Pierson, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), http://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi/img_query?seq_num=346084&one=T
  7. (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apalone_spinifera
  8. (c) The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), http://eol.org/data_objects/31378122

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