The bog turtle is very small, only reaching 3.5-4.5 inches in length and is distinguishable from other turtles by orange markings on either side of its head. Its body and shell are dark brown and have visible growth rings on their shell when they are young.


The bog turtle is an omnivore and eats aquatic plants as well as insects and small vertebrates.


Natural predators include racoon, mink and otter. The main threat to the bog turtle is habitat loss and fragmentation. Bog turtles are also poached for illegal pet trade.

Reproduction and Life Cycle

Bog turtles mate in the spring and two to four eggs are laid in the early summer. The female makes a nesting site that is normally outside of a tussock which is a tall, thick area of grass. The eggs hatch in September. Sexual maturity is reached between ages 8–11 and the bog turtle can live for more than 30 years.

Did You Know?

  • The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the bog turtle as threatened in 1997 and is on the federal Endangered Species List.
  • Collecting bog turtles without a permit is prohibited in all states but illegal collection still continues.
  • The oldest known bog turtle was 61 years old.

Sources and Additional Information