Turtle ID Request: Lajitas Texas

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Daryl Eby
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Turtle ID Request: Lajitas Texas

Post by Daryl Eby » November 20th, 2012, 6:06 pm

This turtle was spotted by a friend of mine in Lajitas Texas. I'm not a turtle guy, so I decided to come to FHF for an ID.

Image

This is the only photo.

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Owen
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Re: Turtle ID Request: Lajitas Texas

Post by Owen » November 20th, 2012, 6:30 pm

Looks like a Western Painted Turtle.

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Dan Krull
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Re: Turtle ID Request: Lajitas Texas

Post by Dan Krull » November 20th, 2012, 7:01 pm

I agree with Owen. That's the first thing I thought of when I saw it.

Dan

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Bill Love
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Re: Turtle ID Request: Lajitas Texas

Post by Bill Love » November 20th, 2012, 11:13 pm

I thought it was one of those colorful Rio Grande red-eared sliders Trachemys scripta.

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chris_mcmartin
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Re: Turtle ID Request: Lajitas Texas

Post by chris_mcmartin » November 21st, 2012, 3:59 am

How big is it? Any chance it could be a Rio Grande Cooter, Pseudemys gorzugi?

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Daryl Eby
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Re: Turtle ID Request: Lajitas Texas

Post by Daryl Eby » November 21st, 2012, 6:54 am

chris_mcmartin wrote:How big is it?
I was told it was about 7 inches long. I did not see it myself and this is the only photograph.

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chris_mcmartin
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Re: Turtle ID Request: Lajitas Texas

Post by chris_mcmartin » November 21st, 2012, 1:56 pm

Hmm...I was hoping he said it was bigger than that which would make it more likely it'd be a gorzugi.

Jacob
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Re: Turtle ID Request: Lajitas Texas

Post by Jacob » November 21st, 2012, 2:23 pm

T. gaigeae? I know of some recent studies on the hybridization of this species and T. s. elegans from the Rio Grande, so this is my guess...

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Re: Turtle ID Request: Lajitas Texas

Post by chris_mcmartin » November 21st, 2012, 4:18 pm

What sayeth the Esteemed Assembly on the ID of this specimen struggling mightily against floodwaters crossing a Certain Road in the Trans-Pecos?

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Image

Image

ErikNM
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Re: Turtle ID Request: Lajitas Texas

Post by ErikNM » November 21st, 2012, 5:13 pm

Chris, that looks like gorzugi with the red outlining the shell...at least it looks like it from the ones I've seen here in NM.

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Chris Smith
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Re: Turtle ID Request: Lajitas Texas

Post by Chris Smith » November 21st, 2012, 5:20 pm

Looks like a western painted to me too.

-Chris

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Re: Turtle ID Request: Lajitas Texas

Post by chris_mcmartin » November 21st, 2012, 8:29 pm

ErikNM wrote:Chris, that looks like gorzugi with the red outlining the shell...at least it looks like it from the ones I've seen here in NM.

That was my ID as well (for my pics)...especially considering the individual's size and the domed shell.

Daryl's pic is a little bit harder to tell, but it seems to be a "flatter" turtle.

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Re: Turtle ID Request: Lajitas Texas

Post by joeysgreen » November 21st, 2012, 10:37 pm

My initial assessment was painted turtle as well. However the carapacial pattern is much more pronounced than the painteds I have seen (granted a 1000 miles away, but all westerns). Ernst and Lovich have an excellent book, Turtles of the United States and Canada. It might prove helpfull if you have access to a copy.

Ian

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Jeff
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Re: Turtle ID Request: Lajitas Texas

Post by Jeff » November 22nd, 2012, 3:17 pm

Trachemys gaigeae

Shell is not low and smooth like Chrysemys, not evenly arched like Pseudemys. P. gorzugi has a reticulate carapacial pattern; Trachemys has pale transverse streaks, as seen in photo. Also, T. gaigeae is the only emydid turtle that lives anywhere near Lajitas.

Jeff

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Re: Turtle ID Request: Lajitas Texas

Post by Mike VanValen » November 22nd, 2012, 3:33 pm

The three vertebral stripe pattern has me agreeing with Trachemys gaigeae.

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Daryl Eby
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Re: Turtle ID Request: Lajitas Texas

Post by Daryl Eby » November 22nd, 2012, 8:32 pm

Thanks for the replies. It looks like we’ve got three candidates.
  • Western Painted (Chrysemys picta bellii) near edge of range. (Krull, Smith)
    Rio Grande Red-eared Slider (Trachemys gaigeae) native. (Love, Jacob, Jeff, VanValen, Owen, Ian, McMartin)
    Rio Grande Cooter (Pseudemys gorzugi) native.
Anyone other thoughts or opinions? I put question marks by Ian & McMartin's names because I wasn't sure if they were offering opinions or just considering possible options.

((Edited to reflect Owen, Ian and McMartin's revised opinions.))

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Owen
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Re: Turtle ID Request: Lajitas Texas

Post by Owen » November 22nd, 2012, 8:50 pm

I 100% trust Jeff on this one. It has more of a Trachemys look to the shell and patern anyway. Color looked like my CA transplant Chrysemys hence my 'looks like' guess.

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Daryl Eby
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Re: Turtle ID Request: Lajitas Texas

Post by Daryl Eby » November 22nd, 2012, 8:56 pm

Owen wrote:I 100% trust Jeff on this one.
Thanks Owen. I revised the scorecard accordingly.

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Re: Turtle ID Request: Lajitas Texas

Post by joeysgreen » November 22nd, 2012, 9:51 pm

Put me on the Trachemys side of the scorecard too :)

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Daryl Eby
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Re: Turtle ID Request: Lajitas Texas

Post by Daryl Eby » November 23rd, 2012, 3:53 am

joeysgreen wrote:Put me on the Trachemys side of the scorecard too :)
Thanks Ian. Done.

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Re: Turtle ID Request: Lajitas Texas

Post by chris_mcmartin » November 23rd, 2012, 6:13 am

I was just offering gorzugi as a possibility, but I hadn't even considered gaigeae which sounds the most plausible.

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Daryl Eby
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Re: Turtle ID Request: Lajitas Texas

Post by Daryl Eby » November 23rd, 2012, 7:54 am

I think I see a pattern developing here.

Anyone care to make an argument AGAINST the ID of Rio Grande Red-eared Slider?

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