Larger, heavier, and rougher-looking than the common snapping turtle, the rare alligator snapping turtle is protected, and harvest is illegal in Missouri. Check Missouri Turtle Regulations for more details.
June is the usual month for egg-laying, though two clutches may be laid per season. The female digs a nest in deep sand or loose soil and deposits usually 20–30 eggs. This photo was taken in Ontario, Canada.
Snapping turtles are an economically important game animal pursued for their meat, and conservation of this species involves regulated hunting. A fishing permit is required. These turtles do not harm game fish or waterfowl populations in natural conditions, though they may become a nuisance in artificial ponds.
A large aquatic turtle with a big pointed head, long thick tail, and small lower shell, the snapping turtle is common throughout the state, anywhere there is permanent water. Conservation of this species involves regulated hunting.
MDC protects and manages Missouri's fish, forest, and wildlife resources. We also facilitate your participation in resource-management activities, and we provide opportunities for you to use, enjoy and learn about nature. Read more about our mission.