Morphometric data for five freshwater turtles in south, central, and west Texas

Published: 5 March 2020| Version 3 | DOI: 10.17632/8n4x87fctp.3
Donald J. Brown


From 2008–2013, we sampled freshwater turtle populations at 66 sites in south, central, and west Texas, USA. Sampling sites included ponds, lakes, resacas (oxbow lakes), canals, and rivers. We sampled turtle populations using baited hoop nets (66 sites) and basking traps (3 sites), and captured turtles by hand opportunistically in terrestrial habitat. We measured carapace length and width, plastron length and width, body depth, and weight of captured turtles. Excluding recaptures, we measured 356 Apalone spinifera emoryi (Texas Spiny Softshell), 24 Chelydra serpentina (Snapping Turtle), 20 Kinosternon flavescens (Yellow Mud Turtle), 47 Trachemys gaigeae (Big Bend Slider), and 1070 Trachemys scripta elegans (Red-eared Slider). Carapace length of Apalone spinifera emoryi ranged from 85–426 mm (mean = 182 mm). Carapace length of Chelydra serpentina ranged from 74–320 mm (mean = 233 mm). Carapace length of Kinosternon flavescens ranged from 64–147 mm (mean = 114 mm). Carapace length of Trachemys gaigeae ranged from 54–203 mm (mean = 141 mm). Carapace length of Trachemys scripta elegans ranged from 30–328 mm (mean = 171 mm). These data are useful for assessing spatial and temporal variation in size of freshwater turtles.



Texas State University San Marcos, West Virginia University, USDA Forest Service Eastern Region, Eastern New Mexico University, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department


Reptiles, Turtle, Rio Grande, Morphometrics, Texas