Florida Cooter

Florida Cooter
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  • Item #: FC
Scientific Name:  Pseudemys floridana floridana

Identification:  The Florida Cooter’s carapace has a dark background with a yellow or orange pattern.  They are distinguished from the Peninsula Cooter by differences in head markings. The yellowish orange stripes on the head do not form "hairpins", as in close relative P. peninsularis.   Both races can be distinguished from sympatric Pseudemys species by the immaculate yellow color of their plastrons and the lack of a U-shaped cusp in the upper jaw (characteristic of the Florida Redbelly Turtle).  The plastron has no markings, and there are hollow or light colored oval markings on the underside of the marginal scutes distinguishing it from P. peninsularis which has full dark spots. 
Range:  Found in southeastern coastal plains from southeastern Virginia to portions of the Florida Everglades and west to Texas. Alabama distribution is limited primarily to the lower coastal plain

Diet:  Florida Cooters are opportunistic omnivores with females feeding mainly on aquatic vegetation, while males prey on a variety of aquatic invertebrates.

Florida Cooters are not as common as one would think.  While not on any endangered species lists, they are not frequently found  in pet stores or even on-line.  One of the reasons for this is they are often confused with their neighboring Peninsula Cooters.  A true Florida Cooter is relatively rare in the pet industry.  Florida cooters construct an unusual 3-hole nest, digging one deep center hole and shallower ‘false nest’ holes on either side. The female lays most of the eggs in the center hole, putting only one or two eggs in each of the false nests. The false nests are thought to distract predators from the main nest, although in most cases predators appear to find all three.

Diurnal by nature, these turtles wake with the warming sun to bask and forage. They can move with surprising speed in the water and on land. It is not unusual for them to wander from one body of fresh water to another, but many seem to develop fairly large home ranges, which they seldom or never leave. They sleep in the water, hidden under vegetation. While those that live in areas that are quite warm remain active all winter, river cooters in cooler climates can become dormant during the winter for up to two months, in the mud, underwater.  River cooters perfer to be well hidden under aquatic plants during the winter dormancy period or while sleeping each night.




Price $35.00
Availability Out-of-Stock

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