• Peak Breeding Activity: April-November
• Incubation: 50-75 days
• Clutch Size: 6-21 eggs
• Young Leave Nest: 28-35 days after hatching
• Typical Foods: insects, leeches, snails, small fish, frogs, and occasionally some plants
• Ohio Status: Threatened
The most distinctive field mark is the bright yellow throat and chin, which can easily be seen from some distance away. Like the box turtle, the Blanding's has a hinged plastron, but it is not as functional as the box turtle's, because the front lobe of the plastron cannot be closed tightly.
Habitat and Habits
Ohio's Blanding's turtles are limited primarily to the northern counties along Lake Erie, where they inhabit the marshy shorelines, inland streams, and wet meadows. Although essentially aquatic, the Blanding's turtle often wanders about on land, but seldom far from water. Unlike other species of pond turtles, this large but very timid turtle has no difficulty in swallowing food out of water.
Reproduction and Care of the Young
The reproductive biology of turtles is fascinating. With the exception of softshell turtles, the sex of all species of Ohio turtles is dependent on the temperature at which the eggs develop. For instance, snapping turtle eggs that develop at about 77 degrees Fahrenheit will all hatch out as males, while eggs that develop at much higher or lower temperatures will all hatch out as females. In the wild, warmer eggs at the top of a nest may all hatch out as females, while cooler eggs at the bottom hatch out as males. New hatchlings must often travel a considerable distance to reach suitable aquatic habitat.