Alabama Map Turtle

Alabama Map Turtle
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  • Item #: AMT

Scientific Name: Graptemys pulchra


Identification: The carapace is basically brown with faint orange, yellow, and green markings. The juveniles are usually more brightly colored, with the coloration fading over time. Alabama map turtles also have a very pronounced, black knobbed keel (especially in hatchlings) on their carapace that generally wears with age, especially in adult females. The plastron or shell covering the belly is lightly colored with five horizontal lines that outline the scutes (outer layer of horny scale like material coving the carapace and plastron). Adult turtles have a very broad head that is patterned with a large olive mask between and behind the eyes. A light bar runs longitudinally from the chin towards the neck.. The neck and legs are green with patterns of thin yellow lines.

Range:The Alabama Map is endemic to the Mobile Bay drainage basin. They occur from extreme Eastern Louisiana in the Pearl River, across Mississippi and Alabama, to Western Georgia in the Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers.

Diet: Alabama map turtles are mainly carnivorous, although juveniles will feed on some plant matter, mainly duckweed or other aquatic plants. Adult females feed primarily on freshwater aquatic snails and other mollusks, the shells of which are crushed by the wide surfaces of the jaw. Males and juveniles also feed on aquatic snails and mollusks, but since their heads and jaws are not as large and powerful, they also rely on aquatic insects, tadpoles, crawfish, small fish, and even worms as part of their diet. In captivity, they do well on Mazuri and ReptoMin, Reptile/Pond 10, Cichlid Sticks, snails, crickets and assorted worms and insects.




Adult male Alabama Maps are usually between 3.5 to 5 inches long, while adult females are generally 5.5 to 11.5 inches long. Females reach full size around 23 years old and can live 50 years or more in natural conditions. Females have significantly larger jaws, while males have long and thick tails with vents past the edge of the carapace. Males reach sexual maturity in three to four years. Females do not reach maturity until about 14 years old. Sperm may be stored in females due to sperm being present in males throughout the year and mating only occurring in autumn. Courtship sequence is similar to other species of aquatic emydines, except males use their snouts as the "titillation tools" rather than extended fore claws. Mature adult males lack fore claws all together. Females lay an average of 29 eggs per season depending on size of female with an average of four clutches laid per season per female.


Alabama map turtles are rather shy, often slipping in the water at the least disturbance or sign of danger. They prefer rivers and streams with sandy or muddy bottoms. However, they may also be found in fast moving creeks with rocky bottoms. Basking sites are important. Males and juveniles generally prefer basking on brush piles or treetops along banks. Females are usually found further out in the water. They are generally seen basking on larger tree trunks instead of limbs or branches. They are excellent swimmers so their captive habitat should have a water depth as deep as possible. Substrate should be anywhere from a sand to a fine-to-large size gravel. Abundant vegetation, either artificial or real, is recommended.


The IUCN lists the Alabama map turtle as near threatened. Alabama lists it as protected species, Georgia lists it as rare species, and Mississippi lists it as a species with special concern. The Alabama map turtle is at high risk of extirpation due to being secluded to specific river systems and human disturbances such as habitat destruction and fragmentation.


Graptemys pulchra is a great turtle for a community habitat with Sliders, Cooters, other Map Turtles and Painted Turtles.

Price $95.00
Availability Out-of-Stock

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