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Painted Turtles Laying Eggs

Painted Turtles have been engaging in intricate, underwater courtship (consisting of mutual stroking) and mating since March or April. Females can store sperm for several months, enabling them to delay egg-laying, as well as to lay several clutches of eggs.  Nesting activity peaks in June and early July, when females leave their ponds to dig holes in sandy soil and gravel (lower left photo) in which they deposit 3 – 15 oval, white eggs.  Note in the lower right photo, taken after the turtle had departed, that the turtle buries her eggs and tamps down the earth so effectively it’s hard to detect that the ground has been disturbed.

In August or September Painted Turtle eggs hatch and most of the young turtles head to nearby ponds. Occasionally, in northern New England, the young overwinter in the nest and emerge the following spring. (Photos by Jody Crosby)

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10 responses

  1. kissingdogsnet

    Thank you for sharing this at this time. On Saturday we saw 5 turtles cross our road at the base of our driveway – the day after the full moon. Wonder if that spiked them? This year I bought yellow and black Turtle Crossing signs for our road. Cross your fingers – the cars won’t hit them. 🐢 And yes, they were the Painted Turtles.

    *Amy Robb* *BEMER Independent Distributor* amy-robb.bemergroup.com *603-381-1038* [image: Screen Shot 2019-07-08 at 6.34.52 PM.png] https://life.bemergroup.com/

    On Mon, Jun 8, 2020 at 6:57 AM Naturally Curious with Mary Holland wrote:

    > Mary Holland posted: ” Painted Turtles have been engaging in intricate, > underwater courtship (consisting of mutual stroking) and mating since March > or April. Females can store sperm for several months, enabling them to > delay egg-laying, as well as to lay several clutches of” >

    June 8, 2020 at 7:18 am

  2. Anne K Serrell

    Last month in May we came across what certainly looked like a hatchling-very small and very lost from the pond. It was returned to the water of course. But this seems way out of sync with the description in this blog. What do you think we were seeing. My guess it was about 1 and 1/2 inches. Any thoughts?

    June 8, 2020 at 8:06 am

    • My guess, Anne, is that it hatched last fall, and overwintered in the nest and emerged this spring. Occasionally they do that!

      June 8, 2020 at 3:28 pm

  3. You are the best. I’m already suffering pangs of abandonment.

    On Mon, Jun 8, 2020 at 6:58 AM Naturally Curious with Mary Holland wrote:

    > Mary Holland posted: ” Painted Turtles have been engaging in intricate, > underwater courtship (consisting of mutual stroking) and mating since March > or April. Females can store sperm for several months, enabling them to > delay egg-laying, as well as to lay several clutches of” >

    June 8, 2020 at 8:30 am

    • Hardest decision of my life! Who knows, I could be back here before snow flies!

      June 8, 2020 at 3:29 pm

  4. Alice

    I love all animals, but Turtles are among my favorites. Helped many cross the roads.

    June 8, 2020 at 8:32 am

  5. kathiefive

    I watched a painted turtle lay her eggs once in soft soil where tgrass and other small plants grew. After she was finished, without ever even looking, she replaced everything, all the plants back in place, so that you could not see her hole at all. Amazing.

    June 8, 2020 at 9:02 am

  6. I’m curious about where turtles store all those eggs. It’s not like they have room for a “baby bump!” 😃

    June 8, 2020 at 10:27 am

    • That is an excellent question, Robyn! One I’ve never even thought about! I honestly don’t know the answer but will get back to you if I learn anything about their anatomy that allows for expansion this time of year!

      June 8, 2020 at 3:07 pm

  7. Karen Eger

    I am in southern Maine and once stuck a shovel in to dig a hole in the fall before the frost had gone deep and uncovered a nest of half hatched babies. What a surprise! I covered them up again and did the research.

    June 8, 2020 at 6:49 pm

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