Herpetofauna - One Life's List

Southern Painted Turtle
Chrysemys picta dorsalis

Mingo Swamp, Wayne Co., Missouri.  October 28th, 2002

"Turtle!"  Rick Milas exclaimed as we drove down the track next to Ditch 6.  Sure enough, there was a young adult dorsalis, sunning on a bit of log out in the Ditch.  No mistaking the species either - dorsalis has this nice orange 'racing stripe' down the middle of its carapace.

Atypically, this turtle did not slide into the water as we backed up the vehicle for a better look, nor did it when we got closer, nor did it move when we got out of the vehicle and crept up close for a picture.  There you have it, a Southern Painted from about twelve feet away!  I think I'm going to need a different telephoto lens for turtle-stalking, one that will bring them in closer.

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