Field Guide to Maryland's Turtles (Order Testudines)

False Map Turtle (Graptemys pseudogeographica​)

Common Name:

False Map Turtle


​False Map Turtle by Peter Paplanus CC by 2.0

Size: 3 ½ inches - 11 inches

  • The false map turtle has yellow spots behind its eyes, some neck stripes that reach the eyes, and conspicuous mid-dorsal spines. In contrast, the northern map turtle does not have spines thatare as conspicuous.
  • The carapace (upper shell) is olive to brown and has spines running down the middle.


Traditionally found in rivers, lakes, ponds, and occasionally marshlands.

How to Find:

​This is an introduced species. Please report any suspected findings to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Please include a photograph and location of find.

Distribution in Maryland:

​Introduced species. Found in Frederick County.​