Micke Grove Zoo

SJGOV.org - How can we serve you today?

Visit S.J. County Parks & Recreation Website

River cooter
Pseudemys concinna

  • Habitat: Lives in freshwater rivers and other aquatic habitats
  • Range: central, eastern and southern United States
  • Natural Diet: Aquatic insects and other invertebrates
  • Status in the Wild: Common


Fun Facts

  • Cooters are large, riverine turtles that are olive-brown in color with orange, yellow or cream markings. They have an elongated carapace which can get as large as 16 inches.

  • Although juvenile turtles are omnivorous, adults are predominantly herbivorous.

  • Adult males are smaller than the females.

  • The females dig a hole in the ground with their hind legs to lay their eggs.

  • They lay a clutch of two to 10 eggs in spring.

  • During the winter months, these turtles become dormant in a hibernation-like state called brumation


Conservation Threats

  • Mortality on roads is considered a threat for river cooters

  • Habitat degradation and water pollution of riverine ecosystems also have a detrimental effect on wild population numbers of this species




River Cooter Cooters are found in the eastern and southern parts of the U.S


They are often found in the freshwater ecosystems that red-eared sliders inhabit


Map Distributional range