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.

Staurotypus salvinii
Staurotypus salvinii
(Pacific Coast giant musk turtle)

Copyright Info
Staurotypus salvinii Gray, 1864

Common name: Pacific Coast giant musk turtle

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Native Range: Mexico (lowland Pacific drainages of Oaxaca and Chiapas), Guatemala, El Salvador, and Belize (Uetz, 2012).

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 Staurotypus salvinii are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
FL201020101Florida Southeast Coast

Table last updated 7/24/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

Ecology: The Pacific Coast Giant Musk Turtle inhabits slow-flowing waters with soft bottoms and aquatic vegetation (Ernst et al. 2012). Like other musk turtle species, they are carnivorous, eating various types of aquatic invertebrates, as well as fish, amphibians, and carrion. Clutches consist of 6–10 eggs that incubate from 80–210 days (Ernst et al. 2012).

Means of Introduction: Pet release.

Status: Unknown.

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)

Ernst, C.H., Altenburg, R.G.M., and Barbour, R.W. 2012. Turtles of the world. Accessed 8/12/2012 at: http://wbd.etibioinformatics.nl/bis/turtles.php?menuentry=inleiding.

Smith, D.C, Krysko, K.L., Sorenson, T.A., and Sider, M.N. 2011. The Pacific coast giant musk turtle, Staurotypus salvinii Gray 1864 (Kinosternidae), a new non-indigenous species in Florida. IRCF Reptiles and Amphibians 18(1):55—56.

Uetz, P., ed. 2012. The Reptile Database. Accessed 8/3/2012 at: http://www.reptile-database.org.

Author: Fuller, P.

Revision Date: 4/16/2019

Citation Information:
Fuller, P., 2024, Staurotypus salvinii Gray, 1864: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=2853, Revision Date: 4/16/2019, Access Date: 7/24/2024

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 [7/24/2024].

Contact us if you are using data from this site for a publication to make sure the data are being used appropriately and for potential co-authorship if warranted.

For general information and questions about the database, contact Wesley Daniel. For problems and technical issues, contact Matthew Neilson.