[Tweeters] Winter Turtle

Kelly McAllister mcallisters4 at comcast.net
Sun Jan 18 08:58:25 PST 2015

Since Dennis provided such excellent additional detail on the turtles of
Lake Washington, I'll add a couple of things since I've also been a student
of the unusually diverse exotic turtle fauna of the big urban lake.

Though adult sliders are very common in many of our urban lakes, small
sliders are virtually never seen. It leads to questions about whether these
introduced turtles are successfully reproducing or, perhaps, strictly the
result of repeated releases. I've been told that Chinese have a practice of
releasing turtles into the wild as part of celebrations like weddings. It
may be a practice associated with Buddhism.

I attempted to determine whether a slider nest on Pattison Lake, in Thurston
County, produced little turtles. I was able to determine embryonic
development but winter was looming and the embryos were far from full
development so, in that case, I doubted reproductive success. Turtles
sometimes, perhaps frequently, overwinter underground, in the nest, but I
believe that they usually are fully formed and hatched by the time the
winter cold hits.

I'd be interested in sightings of small sliders in Washington, particularly
if they are obviously less than 4 inches across the carapace.

And, Dennis, I've been digging out my old slides of the Oregon spotted frog
specimens from the Slater Museum collection. and scanning them. Amazing how
much federal listing increases interest in an animal.

Kelly McAllister

Olympia, Washington

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