Sternotherus odoratus

Eastern Musk Turtle

Sternotherus odoratusSternotherus odoratusSternotherus odoratus

Photos by J. Andrews.
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Distribution of S. odoratus in Vermont

Distribution Map

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The carapace of the Eastern Musk Turtle is moderately domed, smooth, and a solid grayish green. The plastron is small and hinged. There is also skin exposed between the scutes on the plastron. They are 3-5 inches long. Their skin is also grayish green and they have two white stripes on each side of their head and neck. They have a few fleshy hair-like projections under their chin.


Eastern Musk Turtles are almost entirely aquatic, preferring shallow, weedy, still water. They lay their eggs very near the water's edge. The Eastern Musk Turtle is limited to scattered locations in the Champlain Basin.


This species has a state natural heritage rank of S2 (rare) and is a species of special concern in Vermont. The Eastern Musk Turtle has been designated a Species of Greatest Conservation Need (medium priority) in Vermont’s Wildlife Action Plan. Please report all sightings of this species in Vermont. Take photos if possible. Even historic sighting information is useful.

More Info

The Eastern Musk Turtle is also called Musk Turtle, or Stinkpot.

Species summary written by Kaile Burgess.

In the Media

Video copyright ©2012 ECHO Lake Aquarium.

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