The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.

Glyptemys insculpta
Glyptemys insculpta
(Wood Turtle)
Native Transplant

Copyright Info
Glyptemys insculpta (LeConte, 1830)

Common name: Wood Turtle

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Native Range: Northeastern United States, the Great Lakes region, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia with isolated populations in northern New York and Quebec (Cardoza et al., 1993; Conant and Collins, 1998). Not historically found in Virginia south of Rockingham County, in most of northwestern New York, or in the Cape Cod region (Buhlmann and Mitchell, 1989; Ernst et al., 1994; Conant and Collins, 1998).

Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences:

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Glyptemys insculpta are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
FL200920091Daytona-St. Augustine
MA196019932Charles; Gulf of Maine/Bay of Fundy

Table last updated 6/15/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

Ecology: The wood turtle inhabits wetlands, streams, and rivers, as well as meadows, forests, and farmlands adjacent to water (Ernst et al. 1994; Conant and Collins, 1998).

The species hibernates in water, and is most aquatic in the northern portion of its range (Ernst et al. 1994; Conant and Collins, 1998). Mating peaks in spring and fall and nesting occurs in May and June, when 4 to 18 eggs are laid in holes excavated in the soil (Ernst et al. 1994).

Means of Introduction: Pet release.

Status: Failed in Florida and Massachusetts.

Impact of Introduction: The impacts of this species are currently unknown, as no studies have been done to determine how it has affected ecosystems in the invaded range. The absence of data does not equate to lack of effects. It does, however, mean that research is required to evaluate effects before conclusions can be made.

References: (click for full references)

Cardoza, J. E., G. S. Jones, T.W. French, and D. B. Halliwell. 1993. Exotic and translocated vertebrates of Massachusetts, 2nd edition. Fauna of Massachusetts Series 6. Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, Publication 17223-110-200-11/93-C.R, Westborough, MA.

Conant, R. and J. T. Collins. 1998. A field guide to reptiles and amphibians. Eastern and Central North America. Third Edition, Expanded. Houghton and Mifflin Co. Boston.

Crother, B.I. (chair). Committee on Standard and English and Scientific Names. 2008. Scientific and standard English names of amphibians and reptiles of North America north of Mexico, with comments regarding confidence in our understanding. Society for the Study of Amphibians and  Reptiles Herpetological Circular. No. 37. iii + 86p.

Ernst, C. H., J. E. Lovich, and R. W. Barbour. 1994. Turtles of the United States and Canada. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington and London.

Lazell, J. D., Jr. 1976. This broken archipelago: Cape Cod and the islands; Amphibians and Reptiles. The New York Times Book Co., New York.

Author: McKercher, E., and Fuller, P.

Revision Date: 6/29/2023

Citation Information:
McKercher, E., and Fuller, P., 2024, Glyptemys insculpta (LeConte, 1830): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=1234, Revision Date: 6/29/2023, Access Date: 6/15/2024

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.


The data represented on this site vary in accuracy, scale, completeness, extent of coverage and origin. It is the user's responsibility to use these data consistent with their intended purpose and within stated limitations. We highly recommend reviewing metadata files prior to interpreting these data.

Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2024]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [6/15/2024].

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