A medium-sized turtle with an oval, moderately high-domed upper shell and a long head and neck. The upper shell may be dark brown or black with many yellow spots or bars. The lower shell is brownish yellow with a large, dark-brown blotch on the outer portion of each scute, and the forward third is hinged and movable. Head and limbs are brown and yellow. The upper jaw may be covered with black pigment resembling a mustache. The chin and underside of neck are usually bright yellow.