Eastern Painted Turtle

Chrysemys picta

Painted turtleNH Conservation Status: Not listed

State Rank Status: Widespread and abundant

Distribution: Throughout state, less common in northern New Hampshire.

Description: A 4-6 inch turtle with a smooth carapace and light lines running across the back (created from the straight rows of the large scutes on the back). The head and neck streaked with red and yellow stripes. There are two yellow spots behind each eye.

Commonly Confused Species: None

Habitat: Wetland areas with an abundance of vegetation and basking areas such as shallow ponds, marshes, bogs, slow-moving streams, and lakeshores. Often seen basking on partially submerged logs or rocks in large groups.

Life History: Nest usually close to water’s edge in sandy or loamy area with open canopy. Typically 5-8 eggs are deposited in shallow, excavated depressions. Up to 2 clutches may be laid in a year. Hibernate in mud bottoms or under submerged logs.

Conservation Threats: Road mortality, increased abundance of subsidized predators (e.g., raccoons), collection, and habitat loss & degradation.

Distribution Map