What species of turtle is this?

Pastel Tortie

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I saw this tiny cutie at a botanical garden. What species is this?
View attachment 272453
Did you see it from the front (or back) of the turtle? Was it smooth and shaped like an egg, or was it at all triangular?

If the carapace looks sort of triangular from the front, I would compare it with descriptions and pictures of razorback musk turtles. @Moozillion has a new baby razorback musk turtle named Nelson. Also, if the turtle is longer than 5 inches SCL, it's more likely to be a razorback, because the other native mud and musk turtles don't get as large.

The common musk turtle (Sternotherus odoratus), three-striped mud turtles (Kinosternon baurii), Mississippi red-bellied mud turtles (K. hippocrepis subrubrum), and some Eastern mud turtles (K.h. hippocrepis) resemble each other, sometimes quite closely.

A good look at the plastron would determine whether it's a mud turtle or musk turtle. The musk turtle has a very reduced plastron, and only one hinge. Mud turtles have more coverage with their plastron, similar to a box turtle, and the mud turtles have two hinges (one on each side of the bridge that connects the plastron to the carapace).
 

squirrelkitty

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Did you see it from the front (or back) of the turtle? Was it smooth and shaped like an egg, or was it at all triangular?

If the carapace looks sort of triangular from the front, I would compare it with descriptions and pictures of razorback musk turtles. @Moozillion has a new baby razorback musk turtle named Nelson. Also, if the turtle is longer than 5 inches SCL, it's more likely to be a razorback, because the other native mud and musk turtles don't get as large.

The common musk turtle (Sternotherus odoratus), three-striped mud turtles (Kinosternon baurii), Mississippi red-bellied mud turtles (K. hippocrepis subrubrum), and some Eastern mud turtles (K.h. hippocrepis) resemble each other, sometimes quite closely.

A good look at the plastron would determine whether it's a mud turtle or musk turtle. The musk turtle has a very reduced plastron, and only one hinge. Mud turtles have more coverage with their plastron, similar to a box turtle, and the mud turtles have two hinges (one on each side of the bridge that connects the plastron to the carapace).
Thanks for your detailed reply. I'm not sure about its shape because its carapace had lots of algae on it. As for its size, it is hard to tell because he was in a tank, but he looked smaller than my Hermann's hatchling. This makes me wonder whether they feed the turtle enough, because it would take a while for all that algea to grow on his carapace, but he was still tiny.

Here are some more pictures, but I'm afraid I don't have one of his plastron. IMG_20190517_143035.jpg IMG_20190517_143134.jpg IMG_20190517_143025.jpg
 

Pastel Tortie

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The common musk turtle, the three-striped mud turtle, and the Mississippi red-bellied mud turtle stay small. Their adult size can be as small as 3" or 3.5" SCL (low end of the size range).
 

Markw84

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It is a common musk, or stinkpot - Sternotherus odoratus They commonly develop algae growth on their shells as they often will choose to rarely bask and get out of the water. I've seen them kept very successfully in tanks with no basking dock at all as they are almost fully aquatic. Looks like it is doing quite well and healthy.
 

TammyJ

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It is a common musk, or stinkpot - Sternotherus odoratus They commonly develop algae growth on their shells as they often will choose to rarely bask and get out of the water. I've seen them kept very successfully in tanks with no basking dock at all as they are almost fully aquatic. Looks like it is doing quite well and healthy.
Always good to learn...just because you look a bit grotty does not mean you are not perfectly all right!!!;)
 

squirrelkitty

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It is a common musk, or stinkpot - Sternotherus odoratus They commonly develop algae growth on their shells as they often will choose to rarely bask and get out of the water. I've seen them kept very successfully in tanks with no basking dock at all as they are almost fully aquatic. Looks like it is doing quite well and healthy.
Thanks.
I think the tank didn't even have a basking dock :(
 

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