Yellow Mud Turtle

Kinosternon flavescens

This is a small, dark-colored, semi-aquatic turtle with a restricted range and is considered an endangered species in Missouri. General coloration is dark brown to black. There is some yellow on the chin and neck and along the edge of the upper shell. The lower shell is normally yellow with some brown coloration along the scute seams.

Adult yellow mud turtles range in upper shell length from 4 to 5 inches.
Habitat and conservation: 
The yellow mud turtle prefers a sandy habitat and spends as much time on land as in the water. Aquatic habitat includes marshes, oxbow lakes and flooded fields. It spends the winter as well as the hot months of summer buried in the sand on land.
It is presumed to eat a variety of aquatic animals and some plants.
Distribution in Missouri: 
The yellow mud turtle occurs in a few counties in southwestern Missouri and the Kansas City area. A close relative of this turtle, the Illinois mud turtle, Kinosternon flavescens spooneri, is restricted to a few marshes in northeastern Missouri.
State Endangered.
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