OUACHITA/FALSE MAP TURTLE COMPLEX
Graptemys ouachitensis/pseudogeographica Cagle 1953/(Gray 1831)
grăp-tĕm-ēz — wătch-ĭ-tĕn-sĭs/sū-dō-gē-ō-gră-fĭ-kă


Conservation Status:

State: None

Federal: None
NatureServe State: S4 - Apparently Secure
NatureServe National: N5 - Secure
NatureServe Global: G5 - Secure
CITES: Appendix III

An adult False Map Turtle from Lincoln County, Kansas. © Ken Brunson.
An adult False Map Turtle from Riley County, Kansas. Image © Suzanne L. Collins, CNAH.
An adult False Map Turtle from Chase County. Image © Suzanne L. Collins, CNAH.
Adult Ouachita Map Turtle from Wilson County. Image © Suzanne L. Collins, CNAH.
Adult Ouachita Map Turtle from Sumner County. Image © Suzanne L. Collins, CNAH.
An adult False Map Turtle from Riley County, Kansas. Image © Suzanne L. Collins, CNAH.
An adult Ouachita Map Turtle from Kingman County. Image © Ken Brunson.
An adult False Map Turtle from Riley County, Kansas. Image © Suzanne L. Collins, CNAH.
Two adult Neosho County Ouachita Map Turtles basking on a log in the Neosho River. Image © Nick Gomez.
An adult False Map Turtle from Geary County, Kansas.. Image © Suzanne L. Collins, CNAH.
An adult Ouachita Map Turtle from Neosho County, Kansas. Image © Suzanne L. Collins, CNAH.
Adult Ouachita Map Turtle from Linn County. Image © Suzanne L. Collins, CNAH.

Description:
False and Ouachita Map Turtles can be differentiated from each other by the shape and placement of the markings on their head. There is not currently a method to differentiate them by the shape or coloration of their shell. The two species are grouped together into one account because many of the specimens in collections are only shells.
Both species have a low keeled ridge along the top of the carapace (top shell) that has rear-pointing projections (knobs) toward the head. Their head color is dark brown with many, cream to yellow lines and spots of various sizes and thicknesses. The carapace is brown to green with thin light colored markings, that fade on larger turtles. Specimens often have 2-4 dark diffuse-edged spots along the side. The entire carapace is sometimes obfuscated by algae growing on the shell. The plastron (lower shell) is cream to light yellow with occasional paired diffuse-edged dark spots. Their legs and tail are brown with cream to yellow stripes running down them.
The range of head markings on the False Map Turtle (G. pseudogeographica) is quite variable. Typically, they have prominent (yet thin) yellow line behind each eye on the top of the head. The inside of each line tapers toward the mid-line of the head and turns toward the neck. In many specimens, the bar behind the eye will form a thin crescent around the back of the eye on the side of the head.
The head markings of the Ouachita Map Turtle (G. ouachitensis) are less variable and consists of a large squarish blotch behind each eye on the top of the head, which tapers abruptly toward the mid-line and then turns toward the neck. They typically possess a prominent yellow spot between their eye and mouth on each side of the head, and another below it on the lower jaw. In a few specimens, the large blotch behind the eyes may connect with the spot below the eye, to form a thicker jagged 'angled' crescent.
Adults normally 90-200 mm (3½-8 inches) in carapace length; largest specimen from Kansas: female (KU Color Slide 11236) from Riley County with a carapace length of 256 mm (10 inches) collected by Steven Seitz and Robert Seitz on 2 August 1996; maximum carapace length throughout range: 10 5/8 inches (Conant and Collins, 1998).

Distribution:
The False Map Turtle (G. pseudogeographica) is known from the following river basins in Kansas: Kansas (Kansas [including the Solomon to Glen Elder Lake and Saline to Wilson Lake], the entire lengths of the Walnut, Caney, Verdigris, Fall, Neosho, and Spring rivers, and the upper Marais des Cygnes River). They have not been reported from much of the Marais des Cygnes River basin in Kansas.
The Ouachita Map Turtle (G. ouachitensis) is known from the following river basins in Kansas; Marais des Cygnes, Spring, Neosho, Verdigris, Fall, Walnut, and Arkansas/Pawnee [to Pawnee County]. There are localized populations along the Kansas River to Geary County.
These turtles are found in the rivers and streams of eastern Kansas, making it out onto the plains along the Arkansas, Pawnee, Saline, Smoky Hill, and Solomon Rivers. 
Localities mapped in Collins (1994) from Coffey County (KU 3287-8) are too imprecise to map. Pleistocene fossils are known from Meade County. This record lies well west of the currently recognized distribution of this species.

(, Museum Voucher) (, Observation) (, Literature Record)
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  • Occurrence Summary:  
  • 242
    Records 
  • 139
    Museum Vouchers 
  • 103
    Other Observations 
Some county occurrences indicated below may be too imprecise to map above.
County Breakdown: County Name (# occurrences):
Allen (6); Butler (3); Chase (2); Chautauqua (13); Cherokee (3); Coffey (3); Cowley (7); Crawford (2); Doniphan (4); Douglas (17); Franklin (1); Geary (1); Greenwood (5); Harper (1); Harvey (5); Johnson (1); Kingman (9); Labette (17); Leavenworth (2); Lincoln (5); Linn (1); Lyon (5); Marion (4); McPherson (1); Miami (1); Mitchell (17); Montgomery (11); Morris (11); Neosho (6); Osage (1); Ottawa (4); Pawnee (3); Pottawatomie (2); Riley (3); Russell (20); Saline (1); Sedgwick (4); Shawnee (1); Sumner (7); Unknown (7); Wabaunsee (3); Wilson (10); Woodson (8); Wyandotte (3);

Natural History:
False/Ouachita Map Turtles occur in a wide variety of aquatic habitats, including lakes, rivers, streams, and ponds. Predominantly eat snails, mussels, and aquatic insects, although females will also eat a considerable amount of aquatic vegetation.
Can often be observed from bridges over the streams where they occur. Like other map turtles, the males are much smaller than the females.

Occurrence Activity:
White dates indicate there is at least a single recorded occurrence on that date. The darker blue a date is, the greater the relative number of observations for that date.
Observation Type: (of recorded types)
Remarks:
First reported in Kansas by Hallowell (1856). The earliest existing specimen is from 1911 (KU 3297).
Many of the available specimens from Kansas do not permit examination of the skull or they exist as a shell only. Consequently, we cannot with certainty assign any particular specimen to a species and have elected instead, to retain the complex which recognizes that separate, but cryptic, species do exist. Genetic analyses coupled with additional morphological examination are needed to adequately address the distribution and status of all three species of this complex in the state.

Bibliography:
1857 Hallowell, Edward. Notice of a collection of reptiles from Kansas and Nebraska presented to the Academy of Natural Sciences, by Doctor Hammond, U. S. A. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia 8():238-253
1882 Yarrow, Henry C. Check list of North American Reptilia and Batrachia with catalogue of specimens in U. S. National Museum. Bulletin of the United States National Museum (24):1-249
1885 Cragin, Francis W. Recent additions to the list of Kansas reptiles and batrachians, with further notes on species previously reported. Bulletin of the Washburn College Laboratory of Natural History 1(3):100-103
1885 Cragin, Francis W. Second contribution to the herpetology of Kansas, with observations on the Kansas fauna. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 9():136-140
1911 Hurter, Julius. Herpetology of Missouri. Transactions of the Academy of Science St. Louis 20(5):59-274
1922 Loding, H. P. A preliminary catalogue of Alabama amphibians and reptiles. Geological Survey of Alabama, Museum Paper (5):59
1928 Burt, Charles E. Some distributional and ecological records of Kansas reptiles. Transactions of the Academy of Science St. Louis 26():186-208
1931 Haltom, William L. Alabama reptiles. Alabama Museum of Natural History Museum Paper (11):1-145
1933 Stejneger, Leonhard and Thomas Barbour. A Checklist of North American Amphibians and Reptiles. 3rd Edition. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts. pp.
1942 Hudson, G. E. The amphibians and reptiles of Nebraska. Nebraska Conservation Bulletin 24():1-146
1950 Smith, Hobart M. Handbook of Amphibians and Reptiles of Kansas. University of Kansas, Museum of Natural History, Miscellaneous Publication (2):336
1953 Cagle, Fred R. Two new subspecies of Graptemys pseudogeographica. Occasional Papers of the Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan (546):17
1953 Schmidt, Karl P. A Check List of North American Amphibians and Reptiles. 6th Edition. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois. 280pp.
1956 Clarke, Robert F. Identification of Kansas turtles. Kansas School Naturalist 2(4):1-3
1956 Clarke, Robert F. Turtles in Kansas. Kansas School Naturalist 2(4):1-15
1974 Collins, Joseph T. Amphibians and Reptiles in Kansas University of Kansas Museum of Natural History Public Education Series (1):283 pp
1975 Capron, Marty. A trip through the Kansas Flint Hills. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (8):4-5
1976 Grow, David. The KHS goes to Chetopa. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (13):2-3
1976 Perry, Jan. Field trip to southeast Kansas planned. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (12):1
1976 Rundquist, Eric M. Field checklist (of) amphibians and reptiles of Kansas. Kansas Herpetological Society, Lawrence. pp.
1978 Kern, Anita, Leslie Rice, and Michelle Warner. The turtles of Sumner County, Kansas. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (27):10-11
1982 Collins, Joseph T. Amphibians and Reptiles in Kansas. 2nd edition. University of Kansas Museum of Natural History Public Education Series (8):
1984 Collins, Joseph T. New records of fishes, amphibians and reptiles in Kansas for 1984. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (58):14-20
1984 Collins, Joseph T. New records of fishes, amphibians, and reptiles in Kansas for 1983. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (56):15-26
1986 Capron, Marty. Winter activity noted in southern Kansas herps. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (64):15-16
1986 Collins, Joseph T. New records of amphibians and reptiles in Kansas for 1986. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (66):9-16
1987 Black, Jeffrey H., Jimmie Pigg, and Richard L. Lardie. Distribution records of Graptemys. Bulletin of the Maryland Herpetological Society 23(2):65-68
1987 Capron, Marty. Selected observations on south-central Kansas turtles Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (67):13-15
1988 Busby, William H. The Kansas Natural Heritage Program: Taking stock of Kansas' natural heritage. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (71):9-12
1988 Collins, Joseph T. New records of amphibians and reptiles in Kansas for 1987. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (71):13-19
1989 Collins, Joseph T. New records of amphibians and reptiles in Kansas for 1989. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (78):16-21
1990 Collins, Joseph T. Maximum size records for Kansas amphibians and reptiles. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (81):13-17
1991 Collins, Joseph T. New records of amphibians and reptiles in Kansas for 1990. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (83):7-13
1991 Conant, Roger and Joseph T. Collins. Peterson Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America. 3rd ed. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. pp.
1991 Voorhees, William, J. Schnell, and David Edds. Bait preferences of semiaquatic turtles in southeast Kansas. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (85):14-13
1992 Collins, Joseph T. New records of amphibians and reptiles in Kansas for 1991. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (87):12-17
1992 Edds, David R. Population status and incidence of anatomical abnormalities in semiaquatic turtles of the Walnut and lower Arkansas river basins. Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, Pratt. 58pp.
1992 Taggart, Travis W. Graptemys pseudogeographica. Geographic distribution. Herpetological Review 23():88
1992 Taggart, Travis W. KHS field trips. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (91):3
1993 Collins, Joseph T. and Suzanne L. Collins. Amphibians and Reptiles in Kansas. Third Edition. University Press of Kansas, Lawrence, Lawrence. 397pp.
1993 Vogt, Richard C Systematics of the fals map turtles (Graptemys pseudogeographica complex: Reptilia, Testudines, Emydidae) Annals of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History 62():1-46
1994 Collins, Joseph T. New records of amphibians and reptiles in Kansas for 1993. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (97):15-19
1994 McCoy, Clarence J., Jr. and Richard C. Vogt. Graptemys. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles (584):1-3
1995 Anderson, Lewis, Mark Shaw, Jeff Blodig, and Tom Walker. Report to the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks: Herps encountered during REmap project, summer 1994. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (99):10-17
1995 Collins, Joseph T. New records of amphibians and reptiles in Kansas for 1994. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (100):24-47
1995 Vogt, Richard C. Graptemys ouachitensis. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles (603):1-4
1995 Vogt, Richard C. Graptemys pseudogeographica. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles (604):1-6
1996 Rakestraw, J. Spring herp counts: A Kansas tradition. Reptile & Amphibian Magazine (March-April):75-80
1996 Rundquist, Eric M. Results of the eighth annual KHS herp counts Held 1 April-31 May 1996. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (104):6-17
1997 Collins, Joseph T. New records of amphibians and reptiles in Kansas for 1996. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (107):14-16
1998 Collins, Joseph T. New records of amphibians and reptiles in Kansas for 1997. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (111):12-14
1998 Conant, Roger and Joseph T. Collins. Peterson Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America. 3rd ed, expanded. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. pp.
1998 Gamble, Jerre Marais des Cygnes National Wildlife Refuge Comprehensive Conservation Plan U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Hartford, Kansas. 91pp.
1998 Rundquist, Eric M. Results of the tenth annual KHS herp counts for 1998, held 1 April-31 May. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (112):11-18
1999 Collins, Joseph T. New records of amphibians and reptiles in Kansas for 1998. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (116):14-15
1999 Rundquist, Eric M. Kansas Herpetological Society herp counts: A 10 year summary and evaluation. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (115):42962
2000 Van Doren, Mark D. and Curtis J. Schmidt. A herpetological survey of the Fort Larned National Historic Site, Pawnee County, Kansas. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (120):8-11
2002 Kingsbury, Bruce and Joanna Gibson. Habitat Management Guidelines for Amphibians and Reptiles of the Midwest. Publication of Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, Address not given. 152pp.
2002 Riedle, J. Daren and A. Hynek. Amphibian and reptile inventory of the Kansas Army Ammunition Plant, Labette County, Kansas. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (2):18-20
2003 Suleiman, G. Fort Riley herpetofaunal count. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (5):11-12
2003 Suleiman, Gibran. Fort Riley herp count. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (7):9
2004 Delisle, Jennifer M. and William H. Busby Biological inventory for vertebrates at Fort Larned National Historic Site of the southern plains network. Natural Heritage Inventory, Kansas Biological Survey, Lawrence. 61pp.
2006 Taggart, Travis W. Distribution and status of Kansas herpetofauna in need of information. State Wildlife Grant T7. Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, Pratt. vii + 106pp.
2008 Smith, Ashley D. Intraspecific Phylogeography of Graptemys ouachitensis. Thesis. Ohio University, Athens, Ohio. 31pp.
2010 Collins, Joseph T., Suzanne L. Collins, and Travis W. Taggart. Amphibians, Reptiles, and Turtles of Kansas Eagle Mountain Publishing., Provo, Utah. 400pp.
2010 Krull, Dan. Geographic Distribution: Graptemys pseudogeographica (False Map Turtle). Journal of Kansas Herpetology (33):6
2010 Murrow, Daniel G. Kansas Herpetological Society spring field trip. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (33):2-3
2011 Houck, Mike. Fort Riley Herpetofaunal Survey for 2011. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (39):9
2011 Taggart, Travis W. Kansas Herpetological Society 2011 spring field trip to beheld in Chautauqua County. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (37):5-7
2011 Taggart, Travis W. Results of the KHS Spring Field Trip to Chautauqua County. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (38):2-4
2012 Rohweder, Megan R. Spatial conservation prioritization of Kansas for terrestrial vertebrates. Thesis. Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas. 151pp.
2013 Bass, Neil The Missouri River Fish and Wildlife Mitigation Project: For the river, for you, and for herps. Collinsorum 2(1/2):10-11
2013 Mardis, Dexter and Kevin Scott. 2013 Kansas Herpetofaunal Counts. Collinsorum 2(3/4):7
2013 Taggart, Travis W. KHS 2012 Spring Field Trip to Bourbon County State Lake. Collinsorum 2(3/4):3
2013 Taggart, Travis W. KHS 2013 Spring Field Trip to Schermerhorn Park, Cherokee County. Collinsorum 2(3/4):4
2014 Taggart, Travis W. Results of the 2014 KHS Fall Field Trip to Woodson County. Collinsorum 3(2-4):12
2015 Bass, Neil. Herpetological (Frog and Turtle) Inventories along the Missouri River in Kansas. Collinsorum 4(1):5-9
2015 Taggart, Travis W. Summer Field Trip In The Harvey County Sandhills. Collinsorum 4(3):3
2016 Lindeman, Peter V. The Map Turtle and Sawback Atlas: Ecology, Evolution, Distribution, and Conservation. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman. 488pp.
2016 Powell, Robert, Roger Conant, and Joseph T. Collins. Peterson Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston. 494pp.
2016 Taggart, Travis W. Results of the KHS Summer field trip to Caney River, Chautauqua County, Kansas. Collinsorum 5(2-3):4-5
2017 Praschag Peter, Flora Ihlow, Morris Flecks, Melita Vamberger, and Uwe Fritz. Diversity of North American map and sawback turtles (Testudines: Emydidae: Graptemys). Zoologica Scripta 46():675-682
2017 Taggart, Travis W. and J. Daren Riedle. A Pocket Guide to Kansas Amphibians, Turtles and Lizards. Great Plains Nature Center, Wichita, Kansas. 69pp.
2020 Riedle, J. Daren. Revisiting Kansas Herpetological Society field trip and Herp Count data: Distributional patterns and trend data of Kansas amphibians and reptiles. Collinsorum 9(1):7-16
Account Last Updated:
7/29/2020 3:15:16 PM