E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Wildlife of British Columbia

Apalone spinifera (Lesueur, 1827)
Spiny Softshell Turtle
Family: Trionychidae
Photo of species

© Stanley Park Ecology Society  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #16280)

E-Fauna BC Static Map
Distribution of Apalone spinifera in British Columbia
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The Spiny Softshell Turtle is found in North America from southern Ontario and Quebec south through most of the US east of the Rockies to northern Mexico (van Dijk 2011). It is introduced in British Columbia, with a single report from Stanley Park (Lost Lagoon) in 2011 which probably represents an abandoned pet.

The Spiny Softshell Turtle is one of the larger freshwater turtle species in North America. In its natural range, it is a generalist aquatic species that is found in a variety of permanent water bodies, from ponds and lakes to fast-flowing rivers, with preference for soft-bottomed areas (van Dijk 2011). It is often observed basking on logs, or on sand or mud bars and may be found with other species of turtles.

This is a carnivorous species that feeds on crayfish and other crustaceans, fish, insects, other aquatic invertebrates, and plant matter (van Dijk 2011). In the wild, the Spiny Softshell Turtle can live up to 30 years (van Dijk 2011).

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

Additional Range and Status Information Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References

Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2021. E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Fauna of British Columbia [efauna.bc.ca]. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed: 2024-07-14 3:31:53 AM]
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