Diamond-backed Terrapin - Malaclemys terrapin

Malaclemys terrapin

*The colored areas of the map above represent parishes with currently known records for the given species
 (Source: Jeff Boundy, LA Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries). By no means does it represent the full range of the species in the state, nor does it necessarily mean that a species can be found throughout the parish with the record. This is provided as a guide to where you might be able to find these species in the state and to aid in identification. A descriptive explanation of the range of each species can be found in the text below.


Other Common Names: 

Subspecies: Only the Mississippi Diamond-backed Terrapin, Malaclemys terrapin pileata, occurs within Louisiana coastal waters.

Description: 

Similar Species: 

Species Range: 

Louisiana Range:  Coastal Parishes.

Habitat:

Natural History: 

Best Time and Place to Observe:

Global Conservation Status:  Diamond-backed Terrapins are listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN Red List. Their NatureServe Global Conservation Status Rank is G4 (Apparently Secure).

Federal Conservation Status:  None

Louisiana Conservation Status:  Diamond-backed Terrapins have a ranking of S3 (rare and local throughout the state – 21-100 known extant populations) in Louisiana. They are also a ‘restricted harvest’ species in Louisiana, where, with a proper license, Diamond-backed Terrapins may be taken during all months except between April 15 - June 15. They must measure 6 inches or more carapace length to be legally harvested, and may not be taken by a trap of any kind.

*** If you live in the range of this species in Louisiana and believe you may have observed this species please let me know (take a picture if possible), as there may be more unknown populations in the state.***

Author's Remarks: I have observed this species on occasion in St Bernard Parish, and also within Rockefeller State Refuge in Cameron Parish, and other private land in Cameron Parish.

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