Spotlight Species #5: Eastern river cooter OR Yellow-bellied slider

Spotlight Species #5:
Eastern river cooter (Pseudemys concinna concinna)
Yellow-bellied slider (Trachemys scripta scripta)

What to Look For:
These two species look very similar. They are both black and yellow, but there are some good ways to tell them apart.
While both have yellow bellies, the yellow-bellied slider is ALL yellow while the eastern river cooter’s belly will have black pigments. The eastern river cooter has a longer lower shaped shell while the yellow-bellied slider has a more dome-shaped shell. Also, the eastern river cooter has a straight smooth shell edge whereas the yellow-bellied slider has a more sawtoothed shell edge.
They have different yellow markings on their faces. The yellow-bellied slider has a big yellow blotch behind the eye while the eastern river cooter has defined yellow stripes on the face.

Where to Find It:
You can find both species on the Waccamaw. They are basking turtles that like to hang out on logs and riverbanks to catch some sun. You might also spot these two species in your neighborhood pond.

Why It Is a Spotlight Species:
Both of these species can be found throughout our Waccamaw River watershed and are relatively easy to spot. The challenge is telling them apart! We hope you will learn a little more about our local turtle species.

Posted by waccamaw_riverkeeper waccamaw_riverkeeper, April 06, 2021 16:30

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