Thursday, March 4, 2010

pond turtle ~ 03/04/10 ~ Carmel Valley

best guess western pond turtle
best guess Actinemys marmorata pallida

Would anyone hazard a guess as to which kind of turtles these are? I take a picture of them almost every time we drive down Carmel Valley Road looking for spring wildflowers.

ps 05/09/10 - I'm still unsure of this ID for several reasons. 1) The pic is fuzzy, and yet not as fuzzy as last year. 2) Audubon's California book states western pond turtles like to bask alone. 3) Linked above is the southern subspecies. There's also a more social-looking northern counterpart A. m. ssp. marmorata, but its range doesn't extend this far south. 3) There are isolated populations of different turtles, so maybe. 4) Other more social pond turtles have been introduced and have established themselves (red-eared slider and western painted turtle). 5) It's quite possible these are one of the introduced pets since there's an insane barbed fence surrounding this pond (even more than before), hence my fuzzy, zoom pics.

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