The East Coast Turtles of LA County

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jonathan
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The East Coast Turtles of LA County

Post by jonathan » September 20th, 2018, 10:37 pm

We all know that the Los Angeles area has a few turtle species...

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But I have found all of the following species at just one locality! I'd love some help from the East Coast herpers in identifying a lot of these. I have my guesses which will be reflected a bit in the order I list them, but I'm going to leave those guesses off to keep it unbiased. Anyone want to try to guess some or all of these?


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#3

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#4

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#5

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#6

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#7

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#8

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#9

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#10

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#11

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#12

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#13

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#14

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#15

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#16

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#17

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#18

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#19

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#20

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BillMcGighan
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Re: The East Coast Turtles of LA County

Post by BillMcGighan » September 21st, 2018, 3:19 pm

Quick shot Jonathan:
Let me guess. This was a public park??


1 Yellow Belly Slider (Trachemys scripta scripta)
2 Yellow Belly Slider (Trachemys scripta scripta)
3 Red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans)
4 Red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) (often dark when old)
5 Red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) (often dark when old)
6 Red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) (often dark when old)
7 River Cooter (Pseudemys concinna)
8 River Cooter (Pseudemys concinna)
9 River Cooter (Pseudemys concinna)
10 ???????? Could this be a juvenile Western pond turtle (Actinemys marmorata)
11 Sabine Map Turtle (Graptemys sabinensis)
12 Sabine Map Turtle (Graptemys sabinensis)
13 Sabine Map Turtle (Graptemys sabinensis)
14 Ouachita Turtle (Graptemys ouachitensis)
15 Ouachita Turtle (Graptemys ouachitensis)
16 Ouachita Turtle (Graptemys ouachitensis)
17 Eastern Spiney Softshell (Apalone spinifera spinifera)
18 ?????
19 Midland Smooth Softshell (Apalone mutica)
20 Eastern Spiney Softshell (Apalone spinifera spinifera)

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jonathan
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Re: The East Coast Turtles of LA County

Post by jonathan » September 29th, 2018, 5:14 pm

Thank you Bill!

I'm looking for more input because at least one of more people have thought that one of those maps looks like a false map, and the softshell ID's have been all over the place with Florida, Smooth, and Spiny all getting into the mix.

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RenoBart
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Re: The East Coast Turtles of LA County

Post by RenoBart » October 1st, 2018, 12:43 pm

I wonder how many active (reproducing) populations of Chelhydra exist in California. I've always heard there are several populations, including some in the Bay area.

Bart

Jimi
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Re: The East Coast Turtles of LA County

Post by Jimi » October 1st, 2018, 2:21 pm

Boy, turtles outside their native distribution are hard. The tendency to melanism doesn't help.
10 ???????? Could this be a juvenile Western pond turtle (Actinemys marmorata)
I wondered that too, but also wondered if it could be one of the European/SW Asian/N African Emys. They're pretty variable, and if you recall an old genus name for WPT, they can be confused, even by professional zoologists!

I wonder if, given where you found it, would it be more likely to be a released pet Emys than a WPT?

Anyway, thanks for the diversion!

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jonathan
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Re: The East Coast Turtles of LA County

Post by jonathan » October 1st, 2018, 3:28 pm

RenoBart wrote:I wonder how many active (reproducing) populations of Chelhydra exist in California. I've always heard there are several populations, including some in the Bay area.

Bart
There was one in Beaverton, Oregon for some time though they tried to eradicate it and I believe have come close to being successful.

That big girl that I photographed was at a regional park in Orange County, it appeared to be a female looking for a place to lay but I haven't heard any other reports from there. I don't know the actual reproducing Cali populations.


Jimi wrote:Boy, turtles outside their native distribution are hard. The tendency to melanism doesn't help.
10 ???????? Could this be a juvenile Western pond turtle (Actinemys marmorata)
I wondered that too, but also wondered if it could be one of the European/SW Asian/N African Emys. They're pretty variable, and if you recall an old genus name for WPT, they can be confused, even by professional zoologists!

I wonder if, given where you found it, would it be more likely to be a released pet Emys than a WPT?

Anyway, thanks for the diversion!
I believe that all the melanistic ones are just red-eared sliders. And I believe that #10 is indeed a native pond turtle though likely also a release.

My real questions are regarding the cooters, maps, and softshells.

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Kookamongus
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Re: The East Coast Turtles of LA County

Post by Kookamongus » October 28th, 2018, 9:08 pm

10 looks to be western pond turtle (actinemys marmorata pallida=actinemys pallida), tail long and skin cream brown (not yellowy) unlike Emys
7 is Pseudemys nelsoni, or possibly rubiventris (less likely) juvenile
8 is probably Pseudemys concinna, although not sure
9, like 8
18 ive got no idea beyond apalone, not experienced in softshells

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jonathan
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Re: The East Coast Turtles of LA County

Post by jonathan » October 29th, 2018, 2:14 am

Here are the answers/votes (combined with the votes on Facebook)

1. Yellow-belly Slider
2. Yellow-belly Slider
3. Red-eared Slider
4. Red-eared Slider
5. Red-eared Slider (melanistic)
6. Red-eared Slider (melanistic)
7. Florida Red-bellied Cooter (Pseudemys nelsoni) 2 votes, or possibly rubiventris (less likely) or concinna 1 vote.
8. River Cooter (Pseudemys concinna) 3 votes
9. River Cooter (Pseudemys concinna) 3 votes
10. Western Pond Turtle
11. False Map Turtle (Graptemys pseudogeographica pseudogeographica) or Sabine Map Turtle (Graptemys sabinensis)
12. Ouachita Map Turtle (Graptemys ouachitensis) or Sabine Map Turtle (Graptemys sabinensis)
13. Ouachita Map Turtle (Graptemys ouachitensis) or Sabine Map Turtle (Graptemys sabinensis)
14. False Map Turtle (Graptemys pseudogeographica pseudogeographica) or Ouachita Map Turtle (Graptemys ouachitensis)
15. False Map Turtle (Graptemys pseudogeographica pseudogeographica) or Ouachita Map Turtle (Graptemys ouachitensis)
16. Ouachita Map Turtle (Graptemys ouachitensis)
17. probably Spiny Softshell (Apalone spinifera)
18. Apalone, species unsure
19. Florida Softshell (Apalone ferox) 3 votes or Midland Smooth Softshell (Apalone mutica) 1 vote
20. Florida Softshell (Apalone ferox) 2 votes or Eastern Spiney Softshell (Apalone spinifera spinifera) 1 vote

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