Alabama Red-bellied Cooter

Pseudemys alabamensis (State Status: S1; critically imperiled)


Pseudemys alabamensis is a large emydid found in a restricted range of coastal Alabama and Mississippi. They are found in a very restricted range in the extreme southeast part of MS. Shell is oval-shaped, olive or dark brown, and the plastron is bright red. A narrow arrow shape may exist between the eyes. The turtle has a unique cusp-shaped mark on the corners of the mouth.

P. alabamensis floating in a coastal bayou, Jackson Co. (MS), © Grover Brown

Identifying Traits

  • Bright red plastron
  • Restricted range
  • Ridged “teeth” on beak


May be in range in fresh-brackish water with plenty of vegetation (Guyer et al., 2015)


Often found basking in wetlands, nests in sandy soils


Aquatic and wetland vegetation