Spiny Softshell Turtle

Apalone spinifera

Order: Testudines

Family: Emydidae

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Minnesota Conservation Volunteer articles


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MCBS Procedures:Turtle Trapping



Spiny softshell turtle


General description: Spiny Softshells have a brown to olive-green carapace. The females are blotched and the males are uniformly colored with dark spots. The shell is round and leathery. The leading edge of the carapace has enlarged points called tubercles. This gives them a spiny appearance. The plastron is white to cream.


Females are much larger than the males. Females can have a carapace length up to 19 inches, while males only get to 9 inches.

Spiny softshell turtle