Southern USA, from eastern Oklahoma and Texas to eastern Mississippi. Almost completely within the Gulf Coastal Plain.
Lives in rivers, slow streams, and swamps. Soft bottomed, slow moving water with abundant aquatic plants. Musk turtles prefer shallow muddy bottomed waterway with abundant aquatic vegetation. Some musk turtles may be found in brackish water.
3 – 6 inches. Deep, steeply sloping oval carapace.
Average is 30 – 55 years.
Musk turtles breed in February through May. Nesting may occur in February through September. Musks like to use the banks of waterways. They may lay up to 1 – 9 brittle, hard-shelled eggs spread out over one to four clutches. Incubation is 60 – 100 day, depending on the environmental conditions.
Omnivorous, feeds on insects, crustaceans, snails, clams, amphibians, and aquatic plants.
Musk turtles, when disturbed, will sometimes secrete a foul-smelling, yellowish fluid from two pairs of musk glands under the border of the carapace.
POINTS OF INTEREST
The musk turtle usually will not bask and does a great deal of “bottom-walking”.