Okefenokee Florida Red-bellied Cooter Turtle

Florida Red-bellied Turtle, Pseudemys nelsoni, on spatterdock yellow lily pads. Photographed in March 2020 in the Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia, USA. ©www.williamwisephoto.com. Please don’t steal my images. Download and use legally from Dreamstime.com.

The Florida Redbelly Turtle is another common aquatic turtle I’ve spotted on my canoe adventures throughout the Okefenokee Swamp. A close look at Pseudemys nelsoni reveals two cusps on its upper beak which differentiates it from the other turtles in the refuge. The Suwannee River, which runs through the Okefenokee, is the northern border of this turtle’s range. It reportedly lays its eggs in active alligator nests.


iNaturalist observation: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/45351272

Published by William Wise

Hi, I’m wildlife photographer and nature writer William Wise. Nature journaling and wildlife photography has been a favorite pastime since the ‘90s. I graduated from University of Georgia Warnell Forestry School's wildlife program in 1996. I'm currently an animal shelter manager/photographer and reside in Athens, Georgia, USA with my wife and two teenage daughters. My website www.williamwisephoto.com is a wildlife and birding photo website documenting the beauty, design and wonder of creation. I have a deep love of the Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia. I became a devoted Christian in 1993 under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation. I am also a guest author at Lee's Birdwatching Adventures and The Creation Club. The theme of my blogging comes from The Message version of Psalms 104 -- "What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, You made earth overflow with your wonderful creations."

3 thoughts on “Okefenokee Florida Red-bellied Cooter Turtle

    1. Turtles can be on a hungry gator’s menu. But I suppose the benefit of an alligator guarding your clutch of babies is worth the risk. I imagine they sneak in and lay those eggs quick though! Thanks for reading and commenting. William

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