Florida red-bellied cooter

Pseudemys nelsoni

Florida red-bellied cooter

Pseudemys nelsoni
Least Concern
Pseudemys nelsoni
Defining Characteristics and Behavior:

The Florida Red-bellied Cooter Turtle has a distinctive red-orange colored plastron (underside of the shell) that sets it apart from other cooter turtles. They have a dark green to black carapace (upper shell) with yellow or orange markings. Their head and legs are typically green or brown. These turtles are primarily herbivorous, feeding on aquatic vegetation. They are relatively social and often bask in groups on logs or rocks.

Habitat Preferences and Distribution:
Average Lifecycle:
Fun Facts:
  1. Florida Red-bellied Cooter Turtles are able to absorb oxygen through their skin while they are submerged, allowing them to stay underwater for extended periods of time.
  2. These turtles are known for their distinctive hissing sound, which they make when threatened or disturbed.
  3. In the wild, Florida Red-bellied Cooter Turtles are threatened by habitat loss, pollution, and collection for the pet trade.

Other Information

How to help

Florida Wildlife Corridor Foundation

Learn more

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission