Eastern Spiny Softshell
This softshell species has small bumps or spines on the front of the upper shell and a small ridge on each side of the snout. Shell color varies with age and sex. Males and young turtles have an olive or grayish-tan upper shell with small black dots and circles and a black line along the margin. Adult females have a dark olive or tan upper shell with brown and gray blotches. The lower shell is a plain cream color. Head and limbs are normally tan or olive with small brown or black spots. A yellow stripe, bordered by dark brown, runs from the snout through the eye and along the side of the head; another light stripe runs from the jaw onto the neck.
Similar species: The western spiny softshell subspecies (A. spinifera hartwegi) has small (not large) circular markings along the center of the upper shell. It occurs statewide. The midland smooth softshell (A. mutica mutica) lacks bumps or spines at the front of the upper shell.