kids encyclopedia robot

Alabama red-bellied cooter facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Alabama red-bellied cooter
Alabama red-bellied turtle US FWS cropped.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Genus:
Pseudemys
Species:
alabamensis
Pseudemys alabamensis range.png
Alabama red-bellied cooter range
Synonyms
  • Pseudemys alabamensis Baur, 1893
  • Chrysemys ababamensis Ditmars, 1907 (ex errore)
  • Pseudemys rubriventris alabamensis Stejneger, 1938
  • Chrysemys rubriventris alabamensis Obst, 1983

The Alabama red-bellied cooter (Pseudemys alabamensis) or Alabama red-bellied turtle, is native to Alabama. It belongs to the turtle family Emydidae, the pond turtles. It is the official reptile of the state of Alabama.

Life history

The red-belly inhabits the fresh to brackish waters of the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta in Mobile and Baldwin counties. It feeds on aquatic vegetation and can be found sunning itself on logs. Nesting of the red-bellied turtle occurs from May through July. Female turtles lay their eggs on dry land, digging nests in sandy soil, where 4 to 9 eggs are laid. Hatchlings usually emerge during the summer. However, when the turtles nest in late July, hatchlings may overwinter in the nest and emerge the following spring.

A mature female can be 14 inches, while a mature male can be 12 inches.

Location

As of June 2009 the turtle has been seen in the central part of Alabama, in the Elmore County region.

This turtle has also been found in south-eastern Mississippi, in Harrison and Jackson counties.

Protection

In 2007, a 3.4 miles (5.5 km) chain-link fence has been constructed along part of the US 98 causeway (Battleship Parkway) that separates the Mobile-Tensaw delta from Mobile Bay. Hatchling deaths dropped 80% from 2007 to 2008.

Gallery

kids search engine
Alabama red-bellied cooter Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.