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Pseudemys nelsoni (Florida Red-bellied Cooter) and Pseudemys floridana peninsularis (Peninsula Cooter) | by Kenny Wray
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Pseudemys nelsoni (Florida Red-bellied Cooter) and Pseudemys floridana peninsularis (Peninsula Cooter)

An adult Florida Red-bellied Turtle (left) and adult Peninsula Cooter (right) from southern Florida. These two turtles are often confused with each other. In this photo, several features can be seen that can help separate the two species, even from a distance. Besides the difference in ventral coloration (which can be pretty variable in P. nelsoni), P. nelsoni has three, thick red stripes on the carapace, whereas P. peninsularis has three, thinner yellow stripes. The carapace of P. nelsoni is also much more domed-shape, whereas the carapace in P. peninsularis is humped anteriorly, but then tapers into a flare towards the posterior end.

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Taken on March 20, 2007