Blanding’s turtles can be readily identified by their unique, lemon-yellow jaws and high-domed shells.

Blanding’s turtles can be identified from quite a distance by their bright yellow throat that is often exposed as these large turtles hold their heads high while basking. Their large (7-10”), highly domed shells are dull gray to black and often flecked with small yellow or buff markings. Their flecking may be largely absent or run together to form streaks on some individuals. Their plastrons are pale yellow with variable black markings, often covering large portions of each plastral scute. The plastron has a hinge at the front which allows the turtle to completely close its shell for protection after pulling in its head and legs.

Blanding’s turtles are semiaquatic, found in a variety of wetlands including marshes, swamps and flood plain wetlands. However, they will travel over land considerable distances to reach vernal pools where they feast on amphibian egg masses, larval amphibians, crustaceans, and other organisms and plants throughout the spring.

Blanding’s Turtle
Massachusetts Threatened Species