Ouachita map turtle

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Ouachita map turtle
Graptemys ouachitensis hatchling.jpg
A hatchling Graptemys ouachitensis
in an aquarium
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Suborder: Cryptodira
Family: Emydidae
Subfamily: Deirochelyinae
Genus: Graptemys
Species: G. ouachitensis
Binomial name
Graptemys ouachitensis
Cagle, 1953
  • G. o. ouachitensis Cagle, 1953
    (Ouachita map turtle)
  • G. o. sabinensis Cagle, 1953
    (Sabine map turtle)[1]
Graptemys ouachitensis map.png
Range map

The Ouachita map turtle or Sabine map turtle (Graptemys ouachitensis) is a species of turtle endemic to the United States.


This species’ carapace features a row of low vertebral spines, and is serrated on the posterior rim. The carapace is olive, dark brown, or black in coloration with light yellowish markings with dark borders. The plastron color varies from cream to yellow and is patterned with dark lines and swirls. The body color is grayish brown to blackish and is marked with yellowish stripes.

Males are significantly smaller than females. The males can grow to be as large as 5 inches (12.5 cm) in carapace length. The females can grow to be up to 10 inches (25.5 cm) in carapace length.


The subspecies may represent full species.[2]


Ouachita map turtles feed mainly on small aquatic animals such as shrimp, insects, molluscs, and fish. They also consume algae and aquatic plants.

Pet trade[edit]

As they are small, Ouachita map turtles are common amongst turtle keepers. They can be kept with most other species and can be raised on specialty pellets and dried shrimp. Although they need heat and UVB, they can generally be kept in average-sized aquariums.


  1. ^ Graptemys ouachitensis, Reptile Database
  2. ^ Stephens, P.R., and J.J. Wiens. 2003. Ecological diversification and phylogeny of Emydid turtles. Biol. Journ. Linn. Soc. 79 (4): 577-610.

Further reading[edit]

  • Cagle, F.R. 1953. Two New Subspecies of Graptemys pseudogeographica. Occ. Papers Mus. Zool. Univ. Michigan (546): 1-17. ("Graptemys pseudogeographica sabinensis, new subspecies", pp. 2-10; and "Graptemys pseudogeographica ouachitensis, new subspecies", pp. 10-16.)
  • Conant, R. 1975. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America, Second Edition. Houghton Mifflin. Boston. xviii + 429 pp. + 48 Plates. ISBN 0-395-19979-4 (hardcover), ISBN 0-395-19977-8 (paperback). (Graptemys pseudogeographica ouachitensis and G. p. sabinensis, pp. 57-58, Figure 10. + Plate 8 + Map 14.)
  • Smith, H.M., and E.D. Brodie, Jr. 1982. Reptiles of North America: A Guide to Field Identification. Golden Press. New York. 240 pp. ISBN 0-307-13666-3 (paperback). (Graptemys ouachitensis ouachitensis and G. o. sabinensis, pp. 50-51.)

External links[edit]

Austins Turtle Page