Eastern Mud Turtles can be found in a wide variety of water bodies throughout Mississippi, including ponds, lakes, ditches, and rivers. Both subspecies Mississippi mud turtle and southeastern mud turtle can be found, and the ranges meet in the middle of the state vertically where the subspecies will intergrade. Unlike musk turtles. their plastron is double-hinged. The anterior plastral plate will often exhibit a “K” shape where the sutures meet. Shells are dark brown and generally unmarked and the plastron may be yellow, orange, reddish, or brown. The heads of Mississippi Mud Turtles have light stripes, while Southeastern Muds have no striping on heads. These turtles are carnivores, eating a variety of fish, invertebrates, and small vertebrates.
- Double-hinged plastron
- “K” shape on anterior plastron (separates from musk turtles). Not present in all individuals
Mississippi Mud Turtle (Kinosternon subrubrum hippocrepis);
Southeastern Mud Turtle (Kinosternon subrubrum subrubrum)
Nearly any body of water
Highly aquatic species that forages on aquatic invertebrates, males may have large head
Aquatic invertebrates and small vertebrates