Apalone spinifera ‘hartwegi’
CONANT & GOIN, 1948
Jacks Fork River, Missouri Ozarks. May 29, 1988.
It’s not hard to spot softshells tooling along the bottoms of clear Ozark streams, and I was able to spot a dozen or more in this fashion during a two-day float trip. The top turtle is a juvenile found on the Cedar River in Iowa, and the bottom turtle was photographed basking on the banks of a ditch in early spring at Mingo NWR in southeastern Missouri. This subspecies was sunk as a synonym of Apalone spinifera spinifera by McGaugh et al. (see below) but per my life list rules, it remains on my list.
McGaugh, S.E.; Eckerman, C.M. & Janzen, F.J. 2008. Molecular phylogeography of Apalone spinifera (Reptilia, Trionychidae). Zoologica Scripta 37: 289–304
HerpMapper records for this species are here.