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).