Description: 3½ - 7 inches. Painted Turtles have a smooth upper shell (carapace) that is olive, brown, or black. There are irregular light colored lines randomly scattered about the shell. The outer scales of the shell (marginal scutes) have lines extending inward from the edge, which is usually a lighter yellow, orange, or red color. The bottom shell (plastron) is usually red or orange, with an "ink blot" pattern covering much of it. This irregular pattern may fade in older adults. The head is dark colored with a pattern of yellow lines extending from the shell to the nose.
Similar Species: Red-eared Sliders may be similar in appearance, but usually have a large red blotch behind each eye. Common Map Turtles, False Map Turtles, and Ouachita Map Turtles do not have any red coloring anywhere on the body, and have light colored lips.
Comments: A widespread turtle species.