Sonora Mud Turtle

Kinosternon sonoriense
Le Conte, 1854
Santa Cruz Co., Arizona. August 1, 2000.

I was scanning the bank of a shallow stream, looking for garter snakes and leopard frogs, and saw some movement out of the corner of my eye. In several inches of water, under the bright sun, a little greenish-brown disc moved, swirling clouds of fine tan silt. How long does it take the brain to spin through its database of possibilities – half a second, maybe? It was a neonate Sonora mud turtle.

I plucked the little turtle out of the water and took a few photos, keeping him cool with bottled water and in the shade between camera clicks. I released him a few feet away from where we found him, in one of the deeper pools – I didn’t want a bird or some other animal to get him, thanks to my interference. The bottom photo is of an adult found in southern Sonora, Mexico.

My Flickr album for this species is here.

HerpMapper records for this species are here.

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