Malaclemys terrapin (State Status: S2; imperiled)
The Diamond-backed Terrapin is the only member of its genus in the United States, and the only brackish-water specialist species in North America. Shell is oval-shaped with distinct hexagonal or pentagonal scutes. Mississippi individuals are usually gray or black colored with grey skin that is dotted with black. Mississippi Diamond-backed Terrapins typically have a brown or black diamond shape on the top of the head. Individuals are exclusively found on the coast in saltmarshes, brackish bays, and natural beaches.
- Distinct “hexagonal” carapace scutes
- Light gray skin, often dotted black
Mississippi Diamond-backed Terrapin (Malacelmys terrapin pileata)
Brackish water, saltmarshes, beaches and barrier islands
Often enters crab traps to forage and can become stuck. Nests along coastline
Marine invertebrates such as snails, crabs