Map Turtles

Map turtles are freshwater turtles belonging to the genus Graptemys in the family Emydidae. They are native to North America, where they are found throughout the eastern half of the USA and northward into southern Canada. In addition to being called map turtles, they are also known as sawback turtles.

They are endemic to the continent of North American, meaning this is the only place in the world where they are found in the wild.

5 Common map turtles, or Northern map turtles as they are more correctly called. Picture by D. Gordon E. Robertson

Important notice:

Many species of turtle and tortoise are endangered in the wild. Always check the rules regarding keeping turtles and tortoises as pets that apply to your area.

Scientific classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Suborder: Cryptodira
Superfamily: Testudinoidea
Family: Emydidae
Subfamily: Deirochelyinae
Genus: Graptemys

Species and subspecies

  • Barbour’s map turtle – G. barbouri
  • Cagle’s map turtle – G. caglei
  • Escambia map turtle – G. ernsti
  • Yellow-blotched map turtle – G. flavimaculata
  • Northern map turtle – G. geographica
  • Pascagoula map turtle – G. gibbonsi
  • Black-knobbed map turtle – G. nigrinoda
  • Ringed map turtle – G. oculifera
  • Ouachita map turtle – G. ouachitensis
  • Pearl River map turtle – G. pearlensis
  • False map turtle – G. pseudogeographica
    – Mississippi map turtle – G. p kohnii
    – False map turtle – G. s p pseudogeographica
  • Alabama map turtle – G. pulchra
  • Texas map turtle – G. versa