Micke Grove Zoo

SJGOV.org - How can we serve you today?

Visit S.J. County Parks & Recreation Website

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. The species have carapaces that are leathery by nature.

  • These turtles have large dark olive-green colored carapaces that could grow to 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 most likely due to accidental trapping during fishing

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

 

The unique characteristicis of softshells are their pancake-like cartilaginous carapace, webbed feet, and their long nose shaped like a snorkel

 

Map Distributional range in the U.S