Sternotherus odoratus - (Latrielle, 1802)
Eastern Musk Turtle
Other English Common Names: Common Musk Turtle, eastern musk turtle
Synonym(s): Kinosternon odoratum
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Sternotherus odoratus (Latreille in Sonnini and Latreille, 1801) (TSN 173758)
French Common Names: tortue musquée
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.104790
Element Code: ARAAE02040
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Turtles
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Chelonia Cryptodeira Kinosternidae Sternotherus
Genus Size: C - Small genus (6-20 species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Collins, J. T., et al. 1982. Standard Common and Current Scientific Names for North American Amphibians and Reptiles, 2nd ed. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles. Herpetological Circular No. 12. 28 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B82COL01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Sternotherus odoratus
Taxonomic Comments: Based on species-tree and demographic modeling, Scott et al. (2018) found strong support for the recognition of S. odoratus as has been previously defined.

Crother et al. (2008) has changed the name from Common Map Turtle because of the possibility that the word "common" might be misinterpreted to imply abundance rather than to the fact that it has a broad geographic distribution.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 02Feb2016
Global Status Last Changed: 23Oct1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (05Oct1996)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N3 (02Feb2016)

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 Alabama (S5), Arkansas (S4), Connecticut (S4), Delaware (S5), District of Columbia (S4), Florida (S5), Georgia (S5), Illinois (S5), Indiana (S4), Iowa (S2), Kansas (S4), Kentucky (S5), Louisiana (S5), Maine (S3), Maryland (S5), Massachusetts (S4S5), Michigan (S5), Minnesota (SNR), Mississippi (S5), Missouri (S5), New Hampshire (S5), New Jersey (S5), New York (S5), North Carolina (S5), Ohio (SNR), Oklahoma (S4), Pennsylvania (S4), Rhode Island (S4), South Carolina (SNR), Tennessee (S5), Texas (S5), Vermont (S2), Virginia (S5), West Virginia (S5), Wisconsin (S4)
Canada Ontario (S3), Quebec (S1)

Other Statuses

Canadian Species at Risk Act (SARA) Schedule 1/Annexe 1 Status: T (12Jan2005)
Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC): Special Concern (25Nov2012)
Comments on COSEWIC: This species occupies shallow waters of lakes, rivers, and ponds. In southwestern Ontario, the species has declined substantially and is now restricted to a few tiny, scattered populations. Throughout its Canadian range, this species is vulnerable to increased mortality of adults and juveniles from recreational boating, development and loss of shoreline habitat, and fisheries by-catch. The species has delayed maturity and a low reproductive rate with a small clutch size. Since the previous assessment in 2002, increased survey effort has found more populations in eastern Ontario and adjacent areas of Quebec. The species distribution range remains unchanged, but losses in the southern half of its range make it near Threatened.
Designated Threatened in May 2002. Status re-examined and designated Special Concern in November 2012.

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Throughout the eastern U.S.; New England, southern Ontario, and southern Quebec (Chabot and St-Hilaire 1991) south to Florida and west to Wisconsin and central Texas; scattered records from south-central Kansas, western Texas, and Chihuahua, Mexico (Ernst and Barbour 1989).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Throughout the eastern U.S.; New England, southern Ontario, and southern Quebec (Chabot and St-Hilaire 1991) south to Florida and west to Wisconsin and central Texas; scattered records from south-central Kansas, western Texas, and Chihuahua, Mexico (Ernst and Barbour 1989).

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: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV
Canada ON, QC

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)
CT Hartford (09003)
IA Clayton (19043), Jackson (19097), Johnson (19103), Louisa (19115), Muscatine (19139), Washington (19183)
VT Addison (50001), Chittenden (50007), Rutland (50021)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
01 Quinnipiac (01100004)+
04 Mettawee River (04150401)+, Otter Creek (04150402)+, Lamoille River (04150405)+, Lake Champlain (04150408)+
07 Grant-Little Maquoketa (07060003)+, Apple-Plum (07060005)+, Lower Cedar (07080206)+, Lower Iowa (07080209)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Reproduction Comments: Eggs are laid February-July in south, May-August (peak in June) in north. May produce multiple clutches per year in some areas. Clutch size averages 2-3 in south, more than 3 in north. Eggs hatch August-September in south, late August-October in north. In Virginia, hatchlings emerged in year of egg deposition (Mitchell 1988). Possibly hatchlings overwinter in nest in some areas. Multiple females may nest in same site.
Ecology Comments: Population density was about 150/ha in Oklahoma, 24/ha in Pennsylvania (based on suitable habitat) (see Ernst 1986), 149/ha (16% juveniles) in Alabama, 188-194/ha in Virginia, 8-700/ha elsewhere (see Dodd, 1989, Brimleyana 15:47-56). In a 8.5-ha lake in Texas, 989 stinkpots were captured over a 5-year period (Swannack and Rose 2003).

In Virginia, annual survivorship (juveniles to adults) was 0.84-0.86 (Mitchell 1988). Longevity in nature may exceed 25 years (Ernst 1986).

Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Mobility and Migration Comments: Home range averaged 0.05 ha or less in Oklahoma (Mahmoud 1969), about 1.75 ha in males and 0.94 ha in females in Pennsylvania (Ernst 1986).

In South Carolina, individuals were found in upland refugia up to 49 m from the delineated wetland boundary (Buhlmann and Gibbons 2001).

Riverine Habitat(s): CREEK, Low gradient, MEDIUM RIVER, Pool, SPRING/SPRING BROOK
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Shallow water
Palustrine Habitat(s): FORESTED WETLAND, HERBACEOUS WETLAND, Riparian, SCRUB-SHRUB WETLAND
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic, Burrowing in or using soil, Fallen log/debris
Habitat Comments: Inhabits virtually any permanent body of freshwater having a slow current and soft bottom. May bask on tree limbs well above water. Hibernates in bottom mud or debris, under rocks, or in holes in banks; may congregate when hibernating. Eggs are laid up to about 50 m (average 7 m in Pennsylvania) from water in soil; under logs, stumps, and vegetable debris; and in walls of muskrat houses; sometimes on open ground. Hatchlings may overwinter in nest.
Adult Food Habits: Carnivore, Herbivore, Invertivore, Piscivore
Immature Food Habits: Carnivore, Herbivore, Invertivore, Piscivore
Food Comments: Usually feeds in water on bottom; eats primarily aquatic invertebrates but also plants, carrion, fishes, and amphibian larvae. Small individuals eat mainly small aquatic insects, algae, carrion (Ernst and Barbour 1989).
Adult Phenology: Crepuscular, Diurnal, Hibernates/aestivates, Nocturnal
Immature Phenology: Crepuscular, Diurnal, Hibernates/aestivates, Nocturnal
Phenology Comments: Active in morning, evening, and night in warm weather; diurnal in cool weather. More diurnal in north. Generally inactive in cold winter months in north. Active April-October in north, most of year in south (reduced acitvity in winter)
Length: 14 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: Musk Turtles (Sternotherus)

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.
Mapping Guidance: Occurrences should include known nesting areas and travel corridors between the wetlands and nest sites, but occurrences based on captures/observations of individuals in wetlands/aquatic habitats should include only the known distribution of the population and not include large areas of upland habitat (not known to be occupied) that may extend between occupied wetlands within the appropriate separation distances.
Separation Barriers: Busy highway or highway with obstructions such that turtles rarely if ever cross successfully; untraversable topography (e.g., cliff); urbanized area lacking aquatic or wetland habitat; saltwater habitats.
Alternate Separation Procedure: Separation distance along riverine corridors: 10 stream km. Separation distance for other freshwater aquatic and wetland habitats: 5 km. Separation distance for upland habitat: 1 km. Use intermediate values for intermediate circumstances.
Separation Justification: Musk turtles generally do not venture far from water. Upland habitat appears to inhibit movement, though of course these turtles do nest in uplands (but typically within 50 m of water).

Limited data indicate that home range size tends to be small. In Oklahoma, the maximum distance between successive captures of S. carinatus was 94 m (Mahmoud 1969). Home range of S. odoratus averaged 0.05 ha or less in Oklahoma; maximum distance between successive captures was 525 m (Mahmoud 1969). In Pennsylvania, home range size of S. odoratus averaged about 1.75 ha in males and 0.94 ha in females (Ernst 1986). In South Carolina, individuals were found in upland refugia up to 49 m from the delineated wetland boundary (Buhlmann and Gibbons 2001).

The separation distances used here for freshwater aquatic and wetland habitats reflect the likelihood that, despite evidence of limited movements, these turtles can and do move longer distances within suitable habitat than have been documented.

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): .2 km
Date: 10Sep2004
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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Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 19Apr2005
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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