Description: Northern map turtles, also called common map turtles, are the most abundant and widespread of all map turtle species. The carapace length of females can be as great as 27 cm Males, on the other hand, are usually less than 16 cm 6.
Named for their appearance, Northern Map Turtles possess a pattern on their carapace that resembles an intricate map of waterways. The pattern consists of yellowish or orange-ish lines with dark boarders. While the pattern is generally very prominent, it may be dark and faded on adults.
The northern map turtle Graptemys geographicaor common map turtle is an aquatic turtle in the family Emydidae. It is endemic to North America. The northern map turtle gets both its common and scientific names from the markings on the carapacewhich resemble contour lines on a map or chart.
Aquatic turtles are fun pets to own and watch, but not everyone has room for the large enclosures that bigger water turtles, like red-eared slidersrequire. Thankfully there are smaller water turtles like the Mississippi map turtle that don't require such large habitats. The Mississippi map turtle is an aquatic turtle that spends the majority of its time swimming and the rest of the time eating and basking on a dry rock in the sun.
Graptemys ouachitensis is a medium to large map turtle. The carapace is olive to brown with yellow vermiculated markings and dark blotches on each pleural scute. The carapace also has a distinct keel and its posterior edge is serrated.
You have opened an old version of The Turtle Source. They do not have the broad, muscular heads seen in many map turtle species due to their diet which consists almost entirely of insects and insect larvae instead of crustaceans and mollusks seen in other map turtles. Female False Map Turtles reach 9 inches and males reach 5 inches. Cagle's Map Turtle Graptemys caglei from the Guadalupe and San Antonio Rivers in South central Texas, is an ornately patterned species that reproduces well in captivity.
There is debate over the classification of this turtle, and it is referred to as both Graptemys ouachitensis and Graptemys pseudogeographica ouachitensis a subspecies of the False Map Turtle in the scientific community. Regardless of its classification, the turtle has a brown to olive oval carapace that is patterned with light yellowish markings and dark borders. This coloration is prominent when young, but tends to fade with age.
The Common map turtle inhabits an area from southern Quebec and northwestern Vermont where it lives in the St. Lawrence drainage. Its range extends west through the Great Lakes and into southern Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota, west of the Appalachians, south to Kansas, northeastern Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Alabama and then northwestern Georgia.