This colorful addition to Iowa’s series of laminated guides inform both amateur and professional herpetologists about all twenty species of turtles to be found in the Upper Midwest states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, South Dakota, North Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri.
From the hefty alligator snapping turtle—the largest freshwater turtle in North America and the only turtle in the world with a predatory lure in its mouth—to the wood turtle, which uses “worm stomping” to catch earthworms, to the lovely ornate box turtle, which closes its shell completely for self-defense, the slow-but-sure turtle is an intriguing reptile. Terry VanDeWalle provides a complete description of each species, both male and female, along with distinguishing characteristics for fourteen subspecies, information about range and habitat, and natural history notes about behavior, hibernation, diet, and nesting. Two panels devoted to hatchlings provide short descriptions of the young of each species as well as photographs of some commonly seen young turtles.
Comparisons of similar species and comprehensive keys, as well as superb photographs by Suzanne Collins, are helpful aids for identifying individual turtles in the field. This guide is a perfect companion for hiking and fishing expeditions in all kinds of environments, whenever a turtle plops off a log into the water or lumbers across the trail.