Alabama red-bellied cooter

The Alabama red-bellied cooter (Pseudemys alabamensis) or Alabama red-bellied turtle, is native to Alabama.[1][2] It belongs to the turtle family Emydidae, the pond turtles. It is the official reptile of the state of Alabama.[5]

Alabama red-bellied cooter
Alabama red-bellied turtle US FWS cropped.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Suborder: Cryptodira
Superfamily: Testudinoidea
Family: Emydidae
Genus: Pseudemys
P. alabamensis
Binomial name
Pseudemys alabamensis
(Baur, 1893)[1]
Pseudemys alabamensis range.png
Alabama red-bellied cooter range[3]
  • Pseudemys alabamensis Baur, 1893
  • Chrysemys ababamensis Ditmars, 1907 (ex errore)
  • Pseudemys rubriventris alabamensis Stejneger, 1938
  • Chrysemys rubriventris alabamensis Obst, 1983

Life historyEdit

The red-belly inhabits the fresh to brackish waters of the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta in Mobile and Baldwin counties.[2] It feeds on aquatic vegetation[6] and can be found sunning itself on logs. Nesting of the red-bellied turtle occurs from May through July. Female turtles lay their eggs on dry land, digging nests in sandy soil, where 4 to 9 eggs are laid. Hatchlings usually emerge during the summer. When the turtles nest in late July, hatchlings may overwinter in the nest and emerge the following spring.[citation needed]

A mature female can be 14 inches (360 mm), while a mature male can be 12 inches (300 mm).[6]


As of June 2009 the turtle has been seen in the central part of Alabama, in the Elmore County region.[citation needed]

This turtle has also been found in south-eastern Mississippi,[7] in Harrison and Jackson counties.[6]


In 2007, a 3.4 miles (5.5 km) chain-link fence has been constructed along part of the US 98 causeway (Battleship Parkway) that separates the Mobile-Tensaw delta from Mobile Bay.[8] Hatchling deaths dropped 80% from 2007 to 2008.[citation needed]



  1. ^ a b c Rhodin, Anders G.J.; van Dijk, Peter Paul; Iverson, John B.; Shaffer, H. Bradley; Roger, Bour (31 December 2011). "Turtles of the world, 2011 update: Annotated checklist of taxonomy, synonymy, distribution and conservation status" (PDF). Chelonian Research Monographs. 5: 000.181. Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 January 2012.
  2. ^ a b c Tortoise & Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group (1996). "Pseudemys alabamensis". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 1996: e.T18458A97296493. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.1996.RLTS.T18458A8295960.en. Listed as Endangered (EN B1+2c v2.3)
  3. ^ U.S. Geological Survey (2017). "Alabama Red-bellied Cooter (Pseudemys alabamensis) rARBCx_CONUS_2001v1 Range Map". Gap Analysis Project. doi:10.5066/F7Z31XTN.
  4. ^ Fritz Uwe; Peter Havaš (2007). "Checklist of Chelonians of the World" (PDF). Vertebrate Zoology. 57 (2): 192. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 May 2011. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
  5. ^ "Official Alabama Reptile". Alabama Emblems, Symbols and Honors. Alabama Department of Archives & History. 12 July 2001. Retrieved 19 March 2007.
  6. ^ a b c "Alabama – Great Days Outdoors Magazine Fishing, Hunting – Dedicated to Sportsmen and Their Families". Archived from the original on 16 April 2014. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  7. ^ Southern Wonder: Alabama's Surprising Biodiversity by R. Scot Duncan, University of Alabama Press, 2013, page 367, ISBN 9780817357504
  8. ^ "Turtle protectors on the Causeway –". Archived from the original on 16 April 2014.

External linksEdit