Fascinating Turtles in Michigan

Michigan’s chilly climate doesn’t seem like it’d be hospitable to a substantial reptile population, but there are actually 10 species of turtles that call the Great Lake State their home.

From massive snapping turtles to tiny pond turtles, Michigan’s shelled reptiles are surprisingly diverse. Here, we’ll highlight five of Michigan’s most incredible Testudines and what makes them unique.

1. Wood Turtle (Glyptemys insculpta)

The wood turtle is no stranger to cold weather. In fact, its geographic range covers much of northern Michigan as well as most of the northeastern United States and parts of southern Canada!

2. Blanding’s Turtle (Emydoidea blandingii)

The Blanding’s turtle is another impressive reptile that can survive and even thrive in cold, wet weather! Its geographic range covers virtually all of Michigan and extends north into parts of New England and southern Canada.

3. Common/Northern Map Turtle (Graptemys geographica)

The northern map turtle, also known as the common map turtle, is certainly one of Michigan’s most colorful turtle species. It gets its common name from the handsome green, orange, yellow, and brown markings on its carapace, which look a lot like contour lines on a map!