turtles, turtle nests, turtle eggs, turtle natural history, nest predation, key
Biologists often need to identify destroyed turtle nests where a predator has excavated and eaten the eggs. We present a dichotomous key to the eggs and nests of Iowa's turtles based on egg or nest morphology and known range of the species. Egg and nest morphology clearly separated most nests of the families Chelydridae and Kinosternidae and many of the Emydidae. However, egg morphology must be combined with known range to distinguish wood turtles (Glyptemys insculpta) from other emydids. These factors will also separate most false map turtles (Graptemys pseudogeographica) from other species. Similarities among egg morphologies, nest morphologies, and ranges make the map turtles (Graptemys spp.) and red-eared sliders (Trachemys scripta) difficult to separate in southeastern Iowa.
Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science
© Copyright 2003 by the Iowa Academy of Science, Inc
Christiansen, James L. and Parmelee, Jeffrey R.
"A Key to the Eggs and Nests of Iowa Turtles,"
The Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science: JIAS: Vol. 110:
, Article 5.
Available at: http://scholarworks.uni.edu/jias/vol110/iss3/5