Turtles in Mississippi

Mississippi consists almost entirely of lowlands, covered with wild and cultivated trees. These habitats support both freshwater and saltwater turtles. Some notable species are the Mississippi Map Turtle, the Mississippi Diamondback Terrapin, and the Pond Slider.

Turtles in Mississippi (MS)

Types of Turtles Found in Mississippi

Sea Turtles (Cheloniidae)

Snapping Turtles (Chelydridae)

Leatherback Sea Turtles (Dermochelyidae)

  • Leatherback Sea Turtle

Hawksbill Turtles (Eretmochelys)

  • Hawksbill Turtle

Emydid Turtles (Emydidae)

Painted Turtles

Chicken Turtles

  • Eastern Chicken Turtle
  • Western Chicken Turtle

Map Turtles

  • Northern Map Turtle
  • Ouachita Map Turtle
  • Alabama Map Turtle
  • Black-knobbed Sawback
  • False Map Turtle
  • Mississippi Map Turtle
  • Pascagoula Map Turtle
  • Pearl River Map Turtle
  • Ringed Map Turtle
  • Yellow-blotched Map Turtle


  • Mississippi Diamondback Terrapin


  • Alabama Red-bellied Turtle
  • Florida Cooter
  • Eastern River Cooter

Box Turtles


Mud and Musk Turtles (Kinosternidae)

  • Eastern Mud Turtle
  • Razor-backed Musk Turtle 
  • Loggerhead Musk Turtle 
  • Eastern Musk Turtle (Stinkpot)
  • Striped-necked Musk Turtle 

Softshell Turtles (Trionychidae)

  • Gulf Coast Smooth Softshell 
  • Gulf Coast Spiny Softshell 

Tortoises (Testudinidae)


Are any turtles in Mississippi endangered?

The IUCN classifies the Pearl River Map Turtle and the Pascagoula Map Turtle as “Endangered.”

Where to see sea turtles in Mississippi?

The Kemp Ridley’s Turtle, the Loggerhead Sea Turtle, and the Green Turtle can be spotted off the Mississippi coast.

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