Florida Cooters are large turtles, ranging in size from 23 to 33 cm (9 - 13 in.), and are flatter in appearance than the similar slider turtle (Trachemys scripta). Their carapace has a dark background with a yellow or orange pattern. The plastron has no markings, and there are hollow oval markings on the marginal scutes. The yellowish orange stripes on the head do not form "hairpins", as in close relative P. peninsularis. The Florida cooter is very similar in appearance to the peninsula cooter (P. peninsularis) and River Cooter (P. concinna). Until very recently, P. peninsularis was considered a subspecies of P. floridana and recent evidence has suggested that P. concinna and P. floridana belong to the same species.
© Through My Lens - Dennis W. Donohue