[Tweeters] Chelonian question

Dennis Paulson dennispaulson at comcast.net
Wed Oct 20 15:43:56 PDT 2021

I can add that these three species may be widespread in Lake Washington, as I have seen and photographed them all in the lake off Montlake Fill. At least one Snapping Turtle, Chelydra serpertina, was photographed there a few years ago, also non-native.

I agree with Stan that the Lake Washington population of Painted Turtles is probably not a native population. The species is common in eastern and southwestern WA.

It would be surprising if none of these turtles attempted to breed, but indeed I’ve never seen any young ones or heard of any evidence of nests, which they dig on land.

Dennis Paulson

> On Oct 20, 2021, at 3:01 PM, Stan Bezimienny <grzebiuszkaziemna at gmail.com> wrote:


> Hi Gary,


> I have seen 3 species of turtles in Juanita Bay:


> 1. red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans)

> 2. painted turtle (Chrysemys picta)

> 3. spiny softshell turtle (Apalone spinifera)


> All 3 are introduced pets, long living but likely non-breeding.


> 1. Common, invasive, older specimens can be completely black. I’ve seen them as late as 12/24, rather cold tolerant

> 2. Less frequently seen, mostly spring

> 3. At least 2 huge specimens, seen in late spring, 2 years in a row


> Have pictures to illustrate. All 3 species are reasonably easy to tell apart.

> 2. Is native to WA, but I think the JBP are released pets.


> Stan

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