Pseudemys gorzugi
Rio Grande Cooter

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Other Names: Western River Cooter, Rio Grande River Cooter
Description: A large turtle, of 238 female specimens, lengths were between 3.15" and 11.22" and 141 males were 3.5" and 9.13". The carapage is an elongate oval in outline, highest at the middle and widest behind the midline. It has a serrated rear margin and is ornatelt marked with yellow and black lines and blotches. The 2nd costal scute has a conspicuous C-shaped marking. Plastron is mostly unmarked, juveniles may have thin dark lines along the seams. There are yellowish green stripes on the head and neck with a large blotch of similar color on each side of the head. The legs and exposed skin are marked with red, yellow and black, especially on the webbing between the toes where there are black half-moon markings on a red background. Males have long straight foreclaws and long thick tails. Males are generally smaller than females. Old adult males may become melanistic.
Similar Species: Painted turtles have the "painted" plastron and Sliders have the red markings behind their ears.
Habitat: Larger deeper pools along rivers.
Behavior: Bask on logs, vegetation or muddy banks. Very shy, are quick to retreat into the water. Active mainly during the day.
Reproduction: Lay eggs in the spring, they incubate for about 70 days before hatching.
Diet: A variety of aquatic plants, invertebrates and vertebrates.