Native Turtles of Oregon Logo  
 
Western Painted Turtle
Western Painted Turtle
Western Painted Turtle
Western Painted Turtle
 
Western Pond Turtle
Western Pond Turtle
Western Pond Turtle
Western Pond Turtle
 

WESTERN PAINTED TURTLES

- Chrysemys picta bellii-

Photo courtesy of USFWS

:: Description

  • Head and legs are dark green with yellow lines
  • Bottom shell is red with unique black pattern
  • Top shell varies from olive to brown and is slightly flattened and smooth with red/orange markings along the margin
  • Length ranges from 4 to 10 inches.

:: Habitat

  • Spend most of their time in shallow, slow-moving water of streams, lakes and rivers; preferably with a soft, muddy bottom with vegetation and submerged logs

::Current distribution

  • Western subspecies ranges from Montana to Oregon
  • Range includes the lower Willamette Valley and lower Columbia River in Oregon
  • One of the few remaining populations in the lower Willamette Valley can be seen at the Smith and Bybee Lakes Natural Area in North Portland

:: Feeding

  • Omnivorous. Eats insects, crayfish, mollusks, worms, fish, tadpoles and plants

::Ecology

  • Bask on logs in the sun. This important behavior is crucial for thermal regulation, digestion and other life requirements
  • Can slow their heartbeat when underwater to conserve oxygen
  • Spend time deep in the bottom of ponds during winter
  • Live 20 years or more

::Nesting

  • Mating occurs in late spring to mid-summer,
  • Turtles lay one to two clutches of eggs a year, with 4-23 eggs per clutch
  • Incubation lasts 10 weeks
  • Turtle hatchlings are about the size of a quarter
  • Males reach maturity in 2 to 5 years; females in 4 to 8 years

::Status

  • Listed as "critical" on the Oregon's sensitive species list. They have disappeared from many parts of their previous range




For more information on western pond turtles, visit Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife



WESTERN POND TURTLE

- Actinemys marmorata -

Photo courtesy of USGS

:: Description

  • Lacks bright coloration on shell bottom which is usually a creamy yellow with some dark blotches
  • Top shell ranges in color from dark brown to olive
  • Head and legs are dark brown to olive
  • Grows up to 10 inches long

:: Habitat

  • Inhabits a variety of aquatic habitats, including; ponds, rivers, reservoirs, streams, seasonal wetlands, and flooded gravel pits
  • Habitat includes streams, large rivers and slow-moving water
  • Not fully aquatic; may spend part of the year in upland forests
  • Prefers living in areas with large rocks and boulders, and uses them to bask in the sun
  • Uses underwater hiding places such as undercut stream banks, mud substrates, logs, and dense patches of aquatic plants to avoid predators

::Current distribution

  • Extends down the West Coast, from Southern British Columbia to Northern California
  • Mainly west of Cascades in the Rogue, Umpqua, Willamette, lower Columbia and coastal drainages from the Siuslaw River south in Oregon

:: Feeding

  • Eats mainly insects, larvae of caddis flies, dragonflies and nymphs
  • Also eats some plants and scavenges on dead meat

::Ecology

  • Basks on logs in the sun. This is an important behavior and is crucial for thermal regulation, digestion and other life requirements
  • Survives drought by digging into the mud in dried up riverbeds
  • Lives up to 40 years in the wild

:: Nesting

  • Breeds from mid-May to late July
  • Clutch size varies from 1-13 eggs
  • Females nest around 50 meters away from the water
  • Nests in short, grassy or weedy areas in hard, compacted, clay soil on south or southwest-facing slopes

:: Status

  • Listed as "critical" on the Oregon's sensitive species list. They have disappeared from many parts of their previous range



For more information on western pond turtles, visit Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife


 
  Oregon Zoo Logo
Metro Logo
City of Portland Oregon Logo
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Logo
The Lower Willamette Turtle Conservation Project was formed to share expertise among various organizations and agencies involved in turtle conservation and to promote appreciation and conservation of turtles by all Oregonians.
Port of Portland Oregon Logo