Snapping Turtle

Chelydra serpentina

Snapping TurtleNH Conservation Status: Not listed

State Rank Status: Widespread and secure

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

Description: A large turtle measuring 8-14 inches and weighing up to 70 pounds. A rough carapace ranges in color form black to light brown. The head is large and the tail is long with a distinct saw-toothed edge.

Commonly Confused Species: Juveniles may be confused with musk turtles and wood turtles.

Snapping TurtleHabitat: Any permanent water body such as lakes, ponds, swamps, bogs, streams, and rivers, especially aquatic habitats with muddy bottoms and abundant submerged logs and aquatic vegetation. Use terrestrial habitats while searching for appropriate nesting sites and traveling among wetland habitats.

Life History: Lays 20-40 eggs in soil banks or sand and gravel piles in fields or lawns and may be several hundred feet or more from water. Hibernates in mud bottom or under logs or other submerged debris, sometimes communally.

Conservation Threats: Water pollution, road mortality, habitat loss.

Distribution map