Kinosternon baurii, the striped mud turtle, is a member of Kinosternidae within Cryptodira. There are 20 extant species in the genus Kinosternon (Ernst and Barbour, 1989; Bonin et al., 2006). Long thought to be the sister-group to Trionychidae (e.g., Gaffney, 1975), the relationship of this taxon to other turtles has recently been called into question on the basis of both molecular and morphological features (e.g., Shaffer et al., 1997).
Kinosternon baurii is a small turtle, with a carapace length of up to 12 cm (Ernst and Barbour, 1989; Bonin et al., 2006). The skull is relatively small and exhibits little emargination. The carapace is smooth and unserrated, and the plastron is well-developed and hinged (Ernst and Barbour, 1989; Bonin et al., 2006). Kinosternon baurii ranges from tan to black dorsally, and three light-colored stripes are present on the carapace. Two light-colored stripes extend posteriorly from the orbit. The plastron is olive to yellow (Ernst and Barbour, 1989; Bonin et al., 2006).
The striped mud turtle prefers quiet freshwater bodies with soft bottoms, and may enter meadows and brackish water. It is found in the southeastern United States, from South Carolina through Florida, including the Florida Keys (Ernst and Barbour, 1989; Bonin et al., 2006). Kinosternon baurii is omnivorous. Females lay up to three clutches per year containing one to five eggs (Ernst and Barbour, 1989; Bonin et al., 2006).
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Kinosternon baurii page on CentralPets.com