Midland Painted Turtle
Chrysemys picta marginata
Midland Painted Turtle Photo Courtesy of Linh Phu
The Midland Painted and the Eastern Painted are two
subspecies of Painted Turtle. They share a similar appearance.
Black head with bright yellow elongated spots on either
side behind the eyes
Yellow borders along the outer margin of the carapace (top
shell) and red spots
Bars or crescents underneath the outer edge
The carapace is smooth, flattened and olive to black
Differences between The Midland Painted and the Eastern
In the Midland Painted Turtle, the large scutes on the
back will not line up; they typically alternate.
The plastron of the Midland may also have gray shadows or
blotches along the center where the Eastern Painted has a solid yellow to
All painted turtles prefer shallow, slow-moving water with a
soft bottom and aquatic vegetation. They can be found in both fresh and brackish
The most conspicuous basking turtle we have, they can be active
in any month, but typically observed basking April to September. Observe them
through binoculars on fallen logs and debris along shorelines, typically in
early morning, midday and early afternoon. Also, find them on land nesting in
loose soil from late May to early July.
Painted turtles are found throughout Maryland. Midland Painted
Turtles will be found in the northern and western counties and may breed with
Eastern Painteds where they overlap in Central Maryland.
580 Taylor Ave., Annapolis MD 21401
Call toll-free in *Maryland* at 1-877-620-8DNR (8367)
Out of State: 410-260-8DNR (8367)