Alabama red-bellied cooter

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Alabama red-bellied cooter
Alabama red-bellied turtle US FWS cropped.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Family: Emydidae
Subfamily: Deirochelyinae
Genus: Pseudemys
Species: P. alabamensis
Binomial name
Pseudemys alabamensis
(Baur, 1893)[1]
  • Pseudemys alabamensis Baur, 1893
  • Chrysemys ababamensis Ditmars, 1907 (ex errore)
  • Pseudemys rubriventris alabamensis Stejneger, 1938
  • Chrysemys rubriventris alabamensis Obst, 1983

The Alabama red-bellied cooter (Pseudemys alabamensis) or Alabama red-bellied turtle, is native to Alabama.[1][2] It belongs to the turtle family Emydidae, the pond turtles. It is the official reptile of the state of Alabama.[4]

Life history[edit]

The red-belly inhabits the fresh to brackish waters of the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta in Mobile and Baldwin counties.[2] It feeds on aquatic vegetation[5] and can be found sunning itself on logs. Nesting of the red-bellied turtle occurs from May through July. Female turtles lay their eggs on dry land, digging nests in sandy soil, where 4 to 9 eggs are laid. Hatchlings usually emerge during the summer. However, when the turtles nest in late July, hatchlings may overwinter in the nest and emerge the following spring.[citation needed]

A mature female can be 14 inches, while a mature male can be 12 inches.[5]


As of June 2009 the turtle has been seen in the central part of Alabama, in the Elmore County region.[citation needed]

This turtle has also been found in south-eastern Mississippi,[6] in Harrison and Jackson counties.[5]


A 3.4 miles (5.5 km) chain-link fence has been constructed along the US 98 causeway (Battleship Parkway) that separates the Mobile-Tensaw delta from Mobile Bay.[7] Hatchling deaths dropped 80% from 2007 to 2008.



  1. ^ a b c Rhodin 2011, p. 000.181
  2. ^ a b c Tortoise & Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group (1996). "Pseudemys alabamensis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2006. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 11 May 2006.  Listed as Endangered (EN B1+2c v2.3)
  3. ^ Fritz Uwe; Peter Havaš (2007). "Checklist of Chelonians of the World" (PDF). Vertebrate Zoology. 57 (2): 192. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 December 2010. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  4. ^ "Official Alabama Reptile". Alabama Emblems, Symbols and Honors. Alabama Department of Archives & History. 2001-07-12. Retrieved 2007-03-19. 
  5. ^ a b c
  6. ^ Southern Wonder: Alabama's Surprising Biodiversity by R. Scot Duncan, University of Alabama Press, 2013, page 367, ISBN 9780817357504
  7. ^

External links[edit]