Eastern Spiny Softshell Turtle
(Apalone spinifera spinifera)

The eastern spiny softshell has an olive, flat leathery shell (usually spotted) that can reach lengths of over 50 cm. The long neck and tubular snout allow it to breathe while almost fully submerged and virtually unseen. Softshells inhabit soft-bottomed water bodies with aquatic vegetation and may be seen basking on sunny riverbanks, sandbars, logs and rocks. A recent survey of the Sydenham River basin revealed that eastern spiny softshells occur in a continuous stretch of the East Sydenham River upstream of Croton. Female softshells prefer to lay eggs in sandy, sunlit areas, which appear to be in limited supply on the Sydenham.

eastern spiny softshell turtle