Kinosternon Baurii – Striped Mud Turtle

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The striped mud turtle, Kinosternon baurii, is a common small aquatic turtle easily recognized by three light longitudinal stripes on a darker shell. It ranges from the lower Florida Keys to southern Virginia. Although this species is known to occupy a wide range of aquatic habitats, few data exist on its precise habitat requirements in Florida. Both males and females tend to spend a considerable amount of time on land and these movements are positively correlated with precipitation. Adult females nest in the spring and fall months with the majority of nesting events recorded in September through November. This species is known to have a remarkable developmental pattern that in some cases includes two separate periods of diapause (when development temporarily shuts down). Because eggs are deposited in a relatively shallow nest, vegetative cover around the nest has been shown to be important to protect developing offspring from thermal extremes. Much of the basic population biology of this species remains poorly known. No single population has been followed for a period long enough to monitor patterns of survivorship, fecundity, or growth rates. In addition, most research on this species has focused on adult females with a paucity of data on males or juveniles. Although striped mud turtles appear relatively abundant north of the Florida Keys, populations in the lower Keys are listed as endangered by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The main threat in the lower Florida Keys appears to be intensive development of their habitat, most of which is privately owned.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Kinosternon Baurii – Striped Mud Turtle, in Peter A. Meylan (Ed.), Biology and Conservation of Florida Turtles - Chelonian Research Monographs, Chelonian Research Foundation, p. 180-188