Eastern Musk Turtle
• Nesting period: spring
• Incubation: 9-12 weeks
• Clutch Size: 1-9 eggs
• Typical Foods: plants, mollusks, small fish, and insects
The most distinctive marks of identification are the two bright yellow stripes on each side of the head. The shell is brown or black, and has a smooth, oval shape with a high dome.
Habitat and Habits
Musk turtles seem to prefer deep, still water in lakes, ponds, and sluggish streams with muddy bottoms and an abundance of plant life. Like the snapper, musk turtles are strongly aquatic and are seldom observed out of water except to lay eggs, or occasionally during early spring to bask in the sun.
Reproduction and Care of the Young
Unlike most turtles, the female musk turtle is not particular about where she lays her eggs. She may place them on a rotted stump, in a muskrat house, or just about anywhere else above or below ground, just as long as water is nearby. Like most turtle species in Ohio, the sex of the young is dependent on the temperature at which the eggs develop.