This is the smallest emydid turtle, and one of the smallest turtles in the world. Adult carapace length is 7.9 to 11.4 cm (3.1 to 4.5 inches). The dark brown or black carapace may be marked with radiating light lines or a light blotch on the vertebral and pleural scutes. Scute annuli are usually prominent in juvenile and young adult specimens, but the carapace may be nearly smooth in old adults. The head, neck, and limbs are typically dark brown with variable reddish to yellow spots and streaks. A large reddish-orange to yellow blotch is visible behind and above each tympanum, sometimes merging into a continuous band on the neck. The upper jaw is weakly notched. (Ernst, Lovich, and Barbour, 1994; Harding, 1997) The plastron is also brown or black, but often with lighter yellow blotches towards the medial and anterior scute edges. A mature male bog turtle has a concave plastron and a long, thick tail, with the vent posterior to the rear edge of the carapace with tail extended. The female has a flat plastron and a thinner, smaller tail, with the vent at or beneath the rear carapace edge. (Ernst, Lovich, and Barbour, 1994; Harding, 1997)

Scientific Name

Clemmys muhlenbergii
Common Name
bog turtle
FWS Category

Location in Taxonomic Tree

Identification Numbers