Eastern Spiny Softshell
Apalone s. spinifera
Photo of Eastern Spiny Softshell courtesy of Linh Phu
Photo of Eastern Spiny Softshell courtesy of Ed Thompson
As its name implies, this turtle does not have hard
scaley scutes. Instead, its flattened carapace (top shell) is leathery.
Small spines or tubercles are present on the front edge
of the carapace, which also has a rough sandpapery feel.
The carapace is tan with black open circles.
The plastron (bottom shell) also lacks scutes and is
creamy white to yellow.
The turtle's snout is elongated and tubular with large
Primarily aquatic species, this turtle prefers rivers and tributaries in
Western Maryland. Has been seen in ponds; prefers sandy substrates and
Photo of Habitat for
Eastern Spiny Softshell courtesy of Matt Sell.
This species is rare in Maryland, with a state listing of In Need of
Conservation. If you see one, please contact the MD DNR Wildlife and
Only found in Garrett County.
580 Taylor Ave, Annapolis MD 21401