Painted Turtle

Scientific NameChrysemys picta

Native To United States and southern Canada

Habitat Slow moving ponds and streams

Diet Omnivore: insects and vegetation

Size and Age Up to 25 cm (10 in) long; average lifespan of 50 years

Natural History

The painted turtle is named after the bright yellow, red, and orange colouration on its head, neck and bottom of its shell. They live in slow-moving bodies of water such as creeks and ponds. To avoid predators, painted turtles refrain from venturing onto the banks of bodies of water. They prefer to bask in the sun, floating on vegetation in the middle of a pond or stream.

Least Concern

Conservation Status

Painted turtles are threatened by invasive species (such as the red eared slider) that move into native habitats and out-compete them for food and basking spots.

Interesting Facts

  • Our painted turtle is named Picasso, after the famous painter.
  • In some aboriginal traditions, this colourful turtle was seen as a trickster.
  • The top of a painted turtle‚Äôs shell is completely smooth and flat, improving its ability to swim.