Introduction

Chrysemys - derived from two Greek words; chrys for gold, referring to the yellow head and shell markings and clemmys meaning tortoise.

picta - the Latin word for painted, referring to the bright red and orange patterns on the margins of the carapace.

True to its common name, the painted turtle has a beautifully smooth carapace with bright red and orange markings along its margin. Painted turtles are common to most ponds, marshes, lakes and rivers. They are often seen basking at the water's edge, stretching out their paddle-like legs to soak up every possible bit of sunlight. In June and July, they are frequently seen on the edges of roads, nesting in the gravel shoulders. Many are killed by careless drivers.