Snapping Turtle Chelydra serpentina (Linnaeus, 1758)    Synonyms: Common Snapping Turtle, Eastern Snapping Turtle.
Kingdom Animalia   >   Phylum Chordata   >   Class Reptilia   >   Order Testudines   >   Family Chelydridae   >   Genus Chelydra   

Status:

The Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) is the largest freshwater turtle in Maryland. This adaptable species may be found in virtually any pond, lake, marsh, or other permanent body of water. Snapping turtles are omnivorous, and well-equipped to eat nearly any appropriately-sized animal in its habitat. They have also been found to feed on skunk cabbage and other vegetation, and will even scavenge carrion. Unlike many other species of aquatic turtles, snapping turtles typically don't haul out of the water to bask, generally preferring to stay in the relative security and concealment of the water or mud. When this turtle is found crossing land (during dispersal, or to oviposit), it can often be famously cantankerous and ill-tempered. The incredible speed and large strike range of its jaws should not be underestimated, and caution and common sense is advised around the biting end (Conant & Collins, 1998; Maryland DNR website).

Where to find:

Virtually any permanent body of water.

There are 566 records in the project database.

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A Snapping Turtle at Susquehanna State Park, Havre de Grace, Maryland (5/13/2012). Photo by Mark Johnson. (MBP list)

A Snapping Turtle in Worcester Co., Maryland (5/3/2014). Photo by Scott Housten. (MBP list)

A Snapping Turtle in Worcester Co., Maryland (6/5/2005). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

A Snapping Turtle in Kent Co., Maryland (4/27/2014). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

A Snapping Turtle in Carroll Co., Maryland (4/10/2013). Photo by Frode Jacobsen. (MBP list)

A Snapping Turtle in Worcester Co., Maryland (5/3/2014). Photo by Scott Housten. (MBP list)

A Snapping Turtle found in Caroline Co., Maryland (5/15/2007). Photo by Jim Brighton. (MBP list)

A Snapping Turtle in Garrett Co., Maryland (6/10/2019). Photo by William Blauvelt. (MBP list)

A Snapping Turtle in Somerset Co., Maryland (4/10/2016). Photo by Jim Brighton. (MBP list)

A Snapping Turtle in Washington Co., Maryland (3/10/2016). Photo by Linda Lewis. (MBP list)

Snapping Turtle in Carroll Co., Maryland (5/15/2021). (c) Emilio Concari, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by Emilio Concari. (MBP list)

A baby Snapping Turtle in Prince George's Co., Maryland (9/3/2011). Photo by Rob Ostrowski. (MBP list)

Snapping Turtle in Montgomery Co., Maryland (4/13/2021). (c) Stephen John Davies, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by Stephen John Davies via iNaturalist. (MBP list)

A Snapping Turtle in Howard Co., Maryland (6/18/2016). Photo by Sue Muller. (MBP list)

A Snapping Turtle in Baltimore City, Maryland (6/24/2017). Photo by Sue Muller. (MBP list)

Snapping Turtle in Montgomery Co., Maryland (5/2/2021). (c) belby, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by Bonnie Bell. (MBP list)

A baby Snapping Turtle in Baltimore Co., Maryland (6/25/2014). Photo by Frode Jacobsen. (MBP list)

A young Snapping Turtle in Carroll Co., Maryland (5/7/2021). (c) Emilio Concari, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by Emilio Concari. (MBP list)

A Snapping Turtle recently emerged frrom mud in Harford Co., Maryland (5/1/2014). Photo by Terry Miller. (MBP list)

Snapping Turtle in Montgomery Co., Maryland (6/19/2020). (c) dtread1, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by dtread1 via iNaturalist. (MBP list)

Snapping Turtle in Montgomery Co., Maryland (6/19/2020). (c) dtread1, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by dtread1 via iNaturalist. (MBP list)

A Snapping Turtle in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (3/18/2011). Photo by Robert Aguilar, SERC. (MBP list)

Snapping Turtle in Frederick Co., Maryland (7/18/2021). No rights reserved. Photo by Andy Wilson via iNaturalist. (MBP list)

Snapping Turtle in Queen Anne's Co., Maryland (6/18/2020). (c) dansmall, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by Dan Small. (MBP list)

Snapping Turtle in Prince George's Co., Maryland (9/25/2021). (c) kristin-marie, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by kristin-marie via iNaturalist. (MBP list)

A Snapping Turtle depositing eggs in Charles Co., Maryland (5/26/2019). Photo by Julie Simpson. (MBP list)

Snapping Turtle in Kent Co., Maryland (4/27/2014). (c) Wayne Longbottom, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by Wayne Longbottom. (MBP list)

Snapping Turtle in Worcester Co., Maryland (5/24/2021). (c) aberkov, some rights reserved (CC BY). Photo by aberkov via iNaturalist. (MBP list)

A Snapping Turtle hibernating, frozen in shallow ice, in Howard Co., Maryland (1/9/2013). Amazing. Photo by Bonnie Ott. (MBP list)

A Snapping Turtle raiding a Canada Goose nest in Montgomery Co., Maryland (4/28/2021). (c) dtread1, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by dtread1 via iNaturalist. (MBP list)

A Snapping Turtle raiding a Canada Goose nest in Montgomery Co., Maryland (4/28/2021). (c) dtread1, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by dtread1 via iNaturalist. (MBP list)


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