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Trachemys scripta elegans
Status Extremely common in Katy and Cypress Texas Notes Beyond a doubt this is the most common turtle in the area and just about worldwide.  This is the pet shop turtle that was sold in a plastic dish with a palm tree years ago and unfortunately released into the wild everywhere.  I have seen this turtle living wild in Singapore, Australia, Costa Rica, and every state i’ve visited in the U.S.  Very recognizable by the red mark on the side of its head the red mark fades away with age and may not be seen in old individuals.  This species can be seen anywhere water is nearby and a common sight is one of these turtles being caught on a road unable to clear the curb with a human carrying it to safety.  This turtle exposes many children to reptiles because it is so common and people generally aren’t afraid of turtles like they fear a snake or alligator.  This species can bite in defense and if you do pick one up to move it off the road try to place your hands between the back legs and tail away from the mouth and carry it as low as possible because they usually squirm and the feeling of the leg kicking your hand may cause you to drop it.
(Red Eared Slider)