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Florida Softshell Turtle
Apalone ferox

  • Habitat: Wide diversity of freshwater and brackish waterbodies
  • Range: Primarily in the state of Florida, but it also ranges to southern sections of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Texas.
  • Natural Diet: They are carnivorous feeding on fish, insects, crustaceans and molluscs
  • Status in the Wild: Common


Fun Facts

  • It is the largest soft shelled turtle in North America. Instead of horny scutes, their carapace is leathery by nature.
  • These turtles have large dark olive-green colored carapaces that can be 30 inches long.
  • The Florida softshell has a long slender neck and a slim, elongated snout.
  • Females are larger than the males.
  • They spend most of their time in water occasionally emerging onto land to either lay eggs or to bask in the sun.


Conservation Threats

Their localized decline is due to accidental trapping

Mortalities of adult turtles on roads have also had a detrimental effect on their population decline


Florida Softshell Turtle This species is the largest softshell turtle in North America



Map Distributional range in the U.S