Emydoidea blandingii

Emydoidea blandingii (*)

Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Reptilia
Subclassis: Anapsida
Ordo: Testudines
Subordo: Cryptodira
Superfamilia: Testudinoidea
Familia: Emydidae
Subfamilia: Emydinae
Genus: Emydoidea
Species: Emydoidea blandingii

Vernacular names

The Blanding's turtle (Emys blandingii or Emydoidea blandingii)[2] is a semi-aquatic turtle of the family Emydidae. It is considered to be an endangered species throughout much of its range.[3]


Its genus classification is mixed with both Emys and Emydoidea in favor among published sources in 2009 and 2010.[1]


The Blanding's turtle is a medium-sized turtle with an average shell length of approximately 18 to 23 cm (7.1 to 9.1 in) with a maximum of 25.5 cm (10.0 in). A distinguishing feature of this turtle is the bright yellow chin and throat. The carapace, or upper shell, is domed, but slightly flattened along the midline, and is oblong when viewed from above. The carapace is speckled with numerous yellow or light-colored flecks or streaks on a dark background. The plastron, or lower shell, is yellow with dark blotches symmetrically arranged. The head and legs are dark, and usually speckled or mottled with yellow. The Blanding's turtle is also called the "semi-box" turtle, for although the plastron is hinged, the plastral lobes do not shut as tight as the box turtle's.


Blanding's turtles take 14–20 years to reach sexual maturity. Mating probably occurs in April and early May with nesting beginning in early June and lasting throughout the month. The clutch size varies from region to region. In New York, the clutch size ranges from 5–12 eggs with an average of eight.

Behavior and life span

The Blanding's turtle overwinters under or near water, in mud or under vegetation or debris. During the nesting season, a female Blanding's turtle may be found more than a kilometer from where it hibernated. It is omnivorous, eating crustaceans and other invertebrates, fish, frogs, crayfish, carrion, berries and vegetable debris. It is capable of catching live fish. The Blanding's turtle may live to be 80 years old.

The Blanding's is a timid turtle and may plunge into water and remain on the bottom for hours when alarmed. If away from water, the turtle will close itself up within its shell. It is very gentle and rarely attempts to bite. It is very agile and a good swimmer.

Distribution and habitat

This species' range centers on the Great Lakes, and extends from central Nebraska and Minnesota (where it twice failed to become the state reptile[4]) eastward through southern Ontario and the south shore of Lake Erie as far east as northern New York, with a few disjunct populations in southeastern New York (Dutchess County), New England and Nova Scotia. Recent investigations in northern New York report the range of this turtle to be primarily in the vicinity of the Thousand Islands region along the St. Lawrence River. In this region it is found in isolated coves and weedy bays, and further inland in shallow, marshy waters and ponds. It does not commonly occur in the main channel of rivers.

Conservation status

The primary threat to the Blanding's turtle is habitat fragmentation and destruction as well as nest predation. It is listed as an endangered species in the states of Indiana, Illinois, Maine, Nebraska, Massachusetts, South Dakota, Missouri, and Nova Scotia, though it has no federal status in the US.[citation needed] The Blanding's turtle is also fully protected in Michigan as a special concern species.[5] In Canada, Blanding's turtles have been listed as either threatened or endangered throughout their range. The Great Lakes /St. Lawrence population in Ontario and Quebec is federally threatened [6] and the Nova Scotia population is endangered.[7]


^ a b Rhodin 2010, pp. 000.138-000.139
^ a b c d Rhodin 2010, pp. 000.105-000.106
^ [1]
^ "Minnesota State Symbols--Unofficial, Proposed, or Facetious". Minnesota State Legislature. Retrieved 2011-02-25.
^ [2], DNR, Michigan
^ : Blanding's Turtle Great Lakes / St. Lawrence population, Species At Risk Public Registry
^ : Blanding's Turtle Nova Scotia Population, Species At Risk Public Registry

Tortoise & Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group (1996). Emydoidea blandingii. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 10 May 2006.
Blanding's Turtle Fact Sheet
Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources Blanding's Turtle (Emys blandingii)
Blanding's Turtle - Emydoidea blandingii Species account from the Iowa Reptile and Amphibian Field Guide
Blanding's Turtle, Natural Resources Canada


Rhodin, Anders G.J.; Paul van Dijk, Peter; Inverson, John B.; Shaffer, H. Bradley (2010-12-14). "Turtles of the World 2010 Update: Annotated Checklist of Taxonomy, Synonymy, Distribution and Conservation Status" (pdf). Archived from the original on 2010-12-15. Retrieved 2010-12-15.

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