Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Title

Proceedings of the Back Bay Ecological Symposium



Conference Name

Back Bay Ecological Symposium


The freshwater turtle community of Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and False Cape State Park is comprised of seven species: Clemmys guttata, Chrysemys picta, Chelydra serpentina, Kinosternon subrubrum, Pseudemys rubrivenfris, Terrapene carolina, and Trachemys scripta. Resource partitioning in this community is accomplished by habitat selection and dietary differences. Three species exhibit strong female biased sexual size dimorphism and one species strong male biased sexual size dimorphism; three species do not exhibit strong size dimorphism. Nesting occurs from about late-May through June and probably longer. Clutch size ranges from a low of three in the smallest species (Kinosternon subrubrum) to a high of 55 in the largest species (Chelydra serpentina). Trapping success varied seasonally and annually. Freshwater turtles play important ecological roles in wetland ecosystems and every effort should be made to insure the continued viability of all populations.