snapping turtle?

Asked June 20, 2019, 8:15 PM EDT

just found this in white chapel off marrows road. is this really a snapping turtle? or something else?

New Castle County Delaware

3 Responses

Thank you for your question. You are correct. The turtle in your photograph is an eastern snapping turtle, scientific name Chelydra serpentina serpentina.

Snapping turtles are found in every southeastern state and in just about any aquatic habitat, including rivers, lakes, ponds, creeks, swamps and freshwater marshes. They are active both during the day and night. They are primarily aquatic, but are often observed traveling on land between water bodies. Females also leave the water to dig nests and lay their eggs.

This species has a varied diet, consuming plants, insects, crayfish, reptiles and amphibians and birds.

If you're interested in learning more about turtle species in your area, here's an excellent reference:

Buhlmann, Kurt et al. (2008). Turtles of the Southeast. Athens: University of Georgia Press.

I hope this answers your question, and thank you for contacting Ask an Expert.


the peculiar thing is i'm not aware of any bodies of water in this area. i'll have to ask around and figure out what i'm missing. haven't seen him/her/it again.

Sometimes they can be found quite some distance away from water sources.