Graptemys pseudogeographica - (Gray, 1831)
False Map Turtle
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Graptemys pseudogeographica (Gray, 1831) (TSN 173800)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.104427
Element Code: ARAAD05080
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Turtles
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Chelonia Cryptodeira Emydidae Graptemys
Genus Size: C - Small genus (6-20 species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: King, F. W., and R. L. Burke, editors. 1989. Crocodilian, tuatara, and turtle species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference. Association of Systematics Collections, Washington, D.C. 216 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B89KIN01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Graptemys pseudogeographica
Taxonomic Comments: G. ouachitensis formerly was regarded as a subspecies of G. pseudogeographica. Ernst and Barbour (1989) and Conant and Collins (1991) treated Graptemys kohni as a species but noted the need for further study of the relationships among G. kohni, G. ouachitensis, G. pseudogeographica. Vogt (1993) reviewed the systematics of the G. pseudogeographica complex and determined that G. ouachitensis is a distinct species and that kohni is best regarded as a subspecies of G. pseudogeographica. MtDNA data support the recognition of G. ouachitensis and G. pseudogeographica as distinct species and show that kohni clearly falls within the pseudogeographica clade (Lamb et al. 1994).

Lamb et al. (1994) conducted a mtDNA-based phylogenetic analysis of turtles in the genus Graptemys and discovered three monophyletic lineages: G. pulchra group (including G. pulchra, G. gibbonsi, G. ernsti, and G. barbouri); G. pseudogeographica group (including G. pseudogeographica, G. nigrinoda, G. flavimaculata, G. oculifera, G. versa, G. caglei, and G. ouachitensis); and G. geographica. Overall genetic divergence was relatively low, and G. pseudogeographica, G. nigrinoda, G. flavimaculata, G. oculifera, and G. versa all shared the same mtDNA genotype. There was no evidence of infraspecific variation in any species. Walker and Avise (1998) reviewed these data and suggested that the Graptemys complex has been taxonomically oversplit at the species level.

McDowell (1964) concluded that the genus Graptemys should be included in the genus Malaclemys, but this arrangement generally has been rejected (e.g., see Dobie 1981 for information on osteological differences between the two genera).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 02May2005
Global Status Last Changed: 13Jul1998
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: Widespread and possibly abundant in large rivers of the Mississippi River Basin; possible localized declines, but population trends are not well known; may be moderately threatened due to loss of habitat and collecting; in general, current status is not well documented.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (05Oct1996)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Arkansas (S4), Illinois (S4), Indiana (SNR), Iowa (S4), Kansas (S4), Kentucky (S3S4), Louisiana (S5), Minnesota (S4), Mississippi (S5), Missouri (SNR), Nebraska (S4), New York (SNA), North Dakota (SU), Ohio (S2), South Dakota (S3), Tennessee (SNR), Texas (S5), Virginia (SNA), Wisconsin (S3?)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species Protection Status (CITES): Appendix III

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 200,000-2,500,000 square km (about 80,000-1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Occurs primarily in large rivers of the Mississippi River Basin, from the St. Croix and Wisconsin rivers in northern and central Wisconsin and the upper Mississippi River in Minnesota south through Louisiana and eastern Texas; range follows the Missouri River into North Dakota and extends east to western Tennessee, western Kentucky, Indiana, and central Ohio (Vogt 1993). See Vogt (1993, 1995) for spot maps and a list of localities for turtles of confirmed identity. Introduced and established in southeastern Virginia (subspecies kohnii) (Savitzky and Mitchell 2001).

Area of Occupancy: 501-10,000 1-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: In Kansas, appears to occur in low densities in several rivers with greater than 100 occupied river miles (Bill Busby, pers. comm., 1998). In Ohio, records cover a distance of 50-75 stream miles (Dan Rice, pers. comm., 1998).

Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300
Number of Occurrences Comments: Extant in 100s of locations in many rivers.

Population Size: 100,000 - 1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Common in many areas.

Common statewide in Arkansas (Trauth et al. 2004). Locally common along Mississippi and Illinois rivers in Illinois (Phillips et al. 1999). During a 1990-1991 survey of 186 sites in 41 counties in southeastern and south central Kansas, 36 individuals were collected (Fuselier and Edds 1994). A 1991 survey of 84 sites in southeastern Kansas yielded 48 individuals (Shipman et al. 1995). Average density at 20 sites in the Tennessee River drainage, Kentucky, was estimated at 1.43 individuals per 100 meters. The highest density, 2.65 individuals per 100 meters, occurred on the north end of Kentucky Lake (Lindeman, in press).

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Some to very many (13 to >125)

Overall Threat Impact: Medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: The greatest threats to survival are destruction of nesting habitat and nests by camping tourists, agricultural practices, and pollution. In Missouri and South Dakota, numbers are decreasing, possibly due to several factors including water pollution, river channelization, impoundments, reduction of suitable nesting sites, siltation, and unlawful shooting (Ernst et al. 1994; CITES Proposal 1996; Doug Backlund, pers. comm., 1998). Individuals are also limited by the availability of basking sites in the form of deadwood. Therefore, the removal of deadwood by humans is detrimental (Lindeman, in press). Human-caused mortalities include drowning in gill nets, shooting, and setlines for fish. In the South, these trutles are collected and eaten, primarily in Louisiana. In the past, they were collected for the pet trade. Additional threats include individuals freezing when water levels drop during winter months, and hatchlings being devoured in large numbers by the maggots of the fly METOPOSARCOPHAGA IMPORTANS. In Wisconsin, 36% of hatchlings found in 23 clutches were devoured by maggots (Ernst et al. 1994, CITES Proposal 1996). Considered not very threatened by the Ohio Natural Heritage Program, where over the past 10 years water quality and presumably habitat have improved in the lower Scioto River, Ohio (Dan Rice, pers. comm., 1998). The Missouri and Kentucky natural heritage programs consider it to be not very threatened, while South Dakota states that it is moderately threatened (Janet Sternburg, Doug Backlund, and Brainard Palmer-Ball, pers. comm., 1998).

Short-term Trend: Decline of <30% to relatively stable
Short-term Trend Comments: Population trend information is not available and can only be estimated. Statements on population trends vary from possibly stable in some areas to declining or unknown in others. Natural heritage programs estimate that populations are stable in Kentucky (Brainard Palmer-Ball, pers. comm., 1998) and unknown in Kansas and Ohio (Busby 1998; Dan Rice, pers. comm., 1998). According to the South Dakota Natural Heritage Program population trends are unknown, but possibly declining due to loss of habitat (Doug Backlund, pers. comm., 1998). Commercial fishermen noted that the species was abundant 25 years or more earlier in the Missouri and Mississippi rivers but had become uncommon. The subspecies G. P. KOHNII is known to be declining in Missouri (Ernst et al. 1994; CITES Proposal 1996).

Long-term Trend: Decline of <50% to Relatively Stable

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Highly to moderately vulnerable.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: Determine the number of populations and abundance rangewide, monitor populations for trends, and determine impact of threats rangewide.

Distribution
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Global Range: (200,000-2,500,000 square km (about 80,000-1,000,000 square miles)) Occurs primarily in large rivers of the Mississippi River Basin, from the St. Croix and Wisconsin rivers in northern and central Wisconsin and the upper Mississippi River in Minnesota south through Louisiana and eastern Texas; range follows the Missouri River into North Dakota and extends east to western Tennessee, western Kentucky, Indiana, and central Ohio (Vogt 1993). See Vogt (1993, 1995) for spot maps and a list of localities for turtles of confirmed identity. Introduced and established in southeastern Virginia (subspecies kohnii) (Savitzky and Mitchell 2001).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: endemic to a single nation

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AR, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MN, MO, MS, ND, NE, NYexotic, OH, SD, TN, TX, VAexotic, WI

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: NatureServe 2008


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
KS Butler (20015), Chase (20017), Chautauqua (20019), Cherokee (20021), Cowley (20035), Doniphan (20043), Greenwood (20073), Labette (20099), Lincoln (20105), Lyon (20111), Marion (20115), Montgomery (20125), Morris (20127), Neosho (20133), Russell (20167), Saline (20169), Wilson (20205), Wyandotte (20209)
MS Claiborne (28021)*, DeSoto (28033)*, Hinds (28049), Holmes (28051)*, Humphreys (28053)*, Lafayette (28071)*, Leflore (28083)*, Lincoln (28085), Madison (28089), Noxubee (28103), Tallahatchie (28135)*, Warren (28149), Yazoo (28163)
ND Emmons (38029)*, Sioux (38085)*
NE Dixon (31051)
OH Clermont (39025), Hamilton (39061), Pickaway (39129), Pike (39131)*
SD Buffalo (46017), Campbell (46021)*, Charles Mix (46023), Clay (46027), Corson (46031), Gregory (46053), Hughes (46065), Lyman (46085)*, Stanley (46117), Union (46127), Yankton (46135)
WI Columbia (55021)*, Dane (55025), Iowa (55049), Richland (55103), Sauk (55111), Trempealeau (55121)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 Noxubee (03160108)+
04 Upper Fox (04030201)+*
05 Upper Scioto (05060001)+*, Lower Scioto (05060002)+, Little Miami (05090202)+
07 Buffalo-Whitewater (07040003)+*, La Crosse-Pine (07040006)+*, Castle Rock (07070003)+*, Lower Wisconsin (07070005)+
08 Horn Lake-Nonconnah (08010211)+*, Little Tallahatchie (08030201)+*, Tallahatchie (08030202)+*, Coldwater (08030204)+*, Yalobusha (08030205)+*, Upper Yazoo (08030206)+*, Lower Mississippi-Natchez (08060100)+*, Lower Big Black (08060202)+, Bayou Pierre (08060203)+*, Homochitto (08060205)+
10 Upper Lake Oahe (10130102)+, Fort Randall Reservoir (10140101)+, Crow (10140105)+*, Lower James (10160011)+, Lewis and Clark Lake (10170101)+, Vermillion (10170102)+, Tarkio-Wolf (10240005)+, Independence-Sugar (10240011)+, Lower Smoky Hill (10260008)+, Upper Saline (10260009)+, Lower Saline (10260010)+
11 Upper Walnut River (11030017)+, Kaw Lake (11060001)+, Upper Verdigris (11070101)+, Fall (11070102)+, Middle Verdigris (11070103)+, Caney (11070106)+, Neosho headwaters (11070201)+, Upper Cottonwood (11070202)+, Lower Cottonwood (11070203)+, Middle Neosho (11070205)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
Help
Basic Description: A turtle.
General Description: See Vogt (1995).
Diagnostic Characteristics: See Vogt (1995). See McCoy and Vogt (1994) for a key to species in the genus GRAPTEMYS.
Reproduction Comments: Lays 1-3 clutches of 5-22 eggs, May to July. Hatchlings emerge in August or September or overwinter and emerge in spring. Males sexually mature in 2nd or 3rd year, females in 6th or 7th year.
Ecology Comments: Gregarious when basking and during hibernation. Sometimes may move more than 1 mile upstream in less than a month (Vogt 1981).
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Riverine Habitat(s): BIG RIVER, High gradient, Low gradient, MEDIUM RIVER, Moderate gradient, Pool
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Shallow water
Palustrine Habitat(s): Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Sand/dune
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic, Burrowing in or using soil, Fallen log/debris
Habitat Comments: Lakes, ponds, reservoirs, sloughs, rivers and their backwaters; areas with abundant aquatic vegetation. In Kansas, occurred in rivers with abundant basking sites (Fuselier and Edds 1994). Basks away from shore. Hibernates under water in bottom mud, in muskrat den, or behind rocks and logs on bottom. Lays eggs in nests dug in sandbars, islands, and beaches; may nest up to about 100 m from water, but usually close to water.
Adult Food Habits: Herbivore, Invertivore, Piscivore
Immature Food Habits: Herbivore, Invertivore, Piscivore
Food Comments: Generalist omnivore; eats small aquatic invertebrates, dead fish, and aquatic plants. Feeds primarily in 1-2 m of water in Wisconsin (Vogt 1981).
Adult Phenology: Diurnal, Hibernates/aestivates
Immature Phenology: Diurnal, Hibernates/aestivates
Phenology Comments: Spends much of day basking. Hibernates from fall until ice melt in north (October to mid-April in Wisconsin; Vogt 1981), sluggishly active in winter in south (Ernst and Barbour 1972).
Length: 27 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Map Turtles (Graptemys)

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a given location. Such evidence minimally includes collection or reliable observation and documentation of one or more individuals (including eggs) in or near appropriate habitat where the species is presumed to be established and breeding.
Separation Barriers: Busy highway or highway with obstructions such that turtles rarely if ever cross successfully; untraversable topography (e.g., cliff); area lacking aquatic or wetland habitat.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 1 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 20 km
Separation Justification: Map turtles live in riverine-riparian systems and associated floodplain lakes, ponds, and sloughs. Often they nest on sandy banks or sand bars but sometimes up to about 100 m from water. Long-distance overland movements appear to be rare, but available information indicates that map turtles may move considerable distances along riverine corridors. Hence, separation distance for suitable habitat refers to riverine corridors whereas separation distance for unsuitable habitat refers to upland habitat.

For Graptemys flavimaculata in Mississippi, mean male home range area was 1.12 ha, mean home range length was 1.9 km (range 0.2-5.9 km); these values for females were 5.75 ha and 1.6 km (range 0.2-2.8 km) (difference is not significant) (Jones 1996).

For Graptemys geographica, daily and annual movements varied greatly among individuals in a river in central Pennsylvania (up to several thousand meters in a few days, or virtually no movement over several years; Pluto and Bellis 1988). Range length was 0.2-6.1 km (mean 2.1 km) for 46 males and 0-5.3 km (mean 1.2 km) for 14 females. Juveniles moved 4.7-5.3 km upstream or downstream over 1-2 seasons.

In Vermont, range length for 6 adult females (with sonic tracking tags) was 1.5-8.0 km along the Lamoille River; some individuals moved downstream to Lake Champlain (2.7 km) and along the lakeshore as much as 2.2 km before returning to the hibernaculum (Graham et al. 2000).
Graptemys pseudogeographica sometimes may move more than 1 mile (1.6 km) upstream in less than a month (Vogt 1981).

These data suggest that a large separation distance of at least 20 stream km is appropriate for distinguishing different occurrences along a stretch of suitable habitat.

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): 2 km
Date: 30Jan2002
Author: Hammerson, G.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 02May2005
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Clausen, M. K., and G. Hammerson
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 28Jan1997
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • CALDWELL, J.P. AND J.T. COLLINS. 1981. TURTLES IN KS.

  • CITES proposal. 1996. The inclusion of all species in the genus GRAPTEMYS in Appendix II, in accordance with article II. CITES II proposal. http://www.xmission.com/`gastown/herpmed/graptem.htm. Two parts, 23 pp.

  • COLLINS, J.T. 1982. AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES IN KANSAS. UNIV.KANS.MUS.NAT.HIST., PUB.EDUCA.SERIES NO.8.

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  • HARVEY, MICHAEL B. 1992. THE DISTRIBUTION OF GRAPTEMYS PSEUDOGEOGRAPHICA ON THE UPPER SABINE RIVER. TEXAS J. SCI. 44(2):257-258.

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  • Lindeman, P. V. 1998. Of deadwood and map turtles (Graptemys): an analysis of species status for five species in three river drainages using replicated spotting-scope counts of basking turtles). Chelonian Conservation and Biology 3:137-141.

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  • Savitzky, B. A., and J. C. Mitchell. 2001. Geographic distribution: Graptemys pseudogeographica kohnii. Herpetological Review 32:191-192.

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  • Turtle Taxonomy Working Group [van Dijk, P.P., Iverson, J.B., Shaffer, H.B., Bour, R., and Rhodin, A.G.J.]. 2012. Turtles of the world, 2012 update: annotated checklist of taxonomy, synonymy, distribution, and conservation status. In: Rhodin, A.G.J., Pritchard, P.C.H., van Dijk, P.P., Saumure, R.A., Buhlmann, K.A., Iverson, J.B., and Mittermeier, R.A. (Eds.). Conservation Biology of Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises: A Compilation Project of the IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group. Chelonian Research Monographs No. 5:000.243-000.328. Online. Available: www.iucn-tftsg.org/cbftt/.

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Citation for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
Patterson, B.D., G. Ceballos, W. Sechrest, M.F. Tognelli, T. Brooks, L. Luna, P. Ortega, I. Salazar, and B.E. Young. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Mammals of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Bruce Patterson, Wes Sechrest, Marcelo Tognelli, Gerardo Ceballos, The Nature Conservancy-Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International-CABS, World Wildlife Fund-US, and Environment Canada-WILDSPACE."

Citation for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe. 2004. Global Amphibian Assessment. IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe, Washington, DC and Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
"Data developed as part of the Global Amphibian Assessment and provided by IUCN-World Conservation Union, Conservation International and NatureServe."

NOTE: Full metadata for the Bird Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/birdDistributionmapsmetadatav1.pdf.

Full metadata for the Mammal Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/mammalsDistributionmetadatav1.pdf.

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