Mississippi Map Turtle

Mississippi Map Turtle
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  • Item #: MM


Scientific Name:  Graptemys pseudogeographica kohnii

Identification: One of distinguishing features of map turtles is the ridge of black tipped knobs running along the spine, and the jagged rear carapace edge. The shell is typically olive to brown with an intricate pattern of yellow to orange semi-circles on the carapace scutes (reminiscent of a road map); these patterns often fade with age & may be obscured by algae overgrowth. The head of the Mississippi map has the main identifying feature. On the side of the head there will be a curved line (a ‘reverse crescent’) that curves down behind & sweeps under the eye. From the top view there is a single line running down the center of the head separating the two crescent lines on the sides. Another semi-reliable distinguishing feature is the round pupil & bright, unbroken iris; Mississippi maps stereotypically have no bar across the pupil (unlike Ouachita & False maps).  The plastron is cream to yellow with an extensive seam following pattern that slowly vanishes with age.

Range: They occur in the Mississippi Valley from Illinois and Nebraska, down into the Gulf States from Mississippi to Texas, usually in rivers, lakes and large streams (not typically in isolated farm ponds or small creeks).
Diet: Mississippi Map turtles are omnivores (but as adults more carnivorous than sliders). They’re easily over-fed protein resulting in an unhealthy growth rate and pyramiding of the shell. They readily eat live foods such as crickets, earth worms, and meal worms, & commercial dry foods such as Mazuri and ReptoMin. They will also eat some vegetables such as Romaine lettuce.

The Mississippi Map turtle derives its common name not from the state of Mississippi, but rather from the Mississippi River.  They may be among the more skittish turtles to keep (individuals vary; map turtles as a class have a reputation for being skittish). Mississippi maps are fond of basking. Selected basking locations are seldom on or near shore and can be as high as 2m above the water surface. If approached, they quickly dive in and if one dives into the water, they all dive.  In time, they overcome this instinct and become quite tame. Mississippi map turtles live in fast moving bodies of water and thus are great swimmers. They are cold tolerant and hibernate throughout their range. Mississippi Map Turtles are excellent starter turtles, and they make fine community turtles as well.
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Price $25.00

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