Common Name

Scientific Name


Photo by P. Dotson
Photo Courtesy of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

The painted turtle, Chrysemys picta, occurs mainly in the northern and eastern United States, although scattered populations have been reported elsewhere. In Utah, this species occurs only in Kane County, where it is thought to have been introduced. Painted turtles inhabit slow moving shallow waters with soft substrates. Individuals commonly bury themselves in the soft substrate (often mud) to hibernate during cold times of the year.

Females may lay one to four clutches of one to twenty eggs during the late spring and summer months. Painted turtles eat a variety foods, including fishes, frogs, plants, insects, spiders, and dead organic matter. The painted turtle has a smooth dark-colored shell, and yellow markings on its head and neck. There is often a red blotch behind each eye.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Stebbins, R. C. 1985. A field guide to western reptiles and amphibians. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 336 pp.