Range is limited to areas surrounding the Pascagoula River system in southeastern Mississippi.
This aquatic turtle prefers wide sections of fast-flowing rivers with sand or gravel bottoms. It likes areas with sandy beaches and plentiful logs and vegetation for basking.
This turtle averages 3.5-11 inches in carapace length, with males being about half the size of females. Its shell is high-domed at the front, and significantly sloped towards the tail end. Its carapace starts out with dark central peaks in juveniles which smooth out to a uniform keel in adults. The posterior edge of its carapace is serrated and comes to a point at the tail end. Its carapace is primarily olive to dark brown or grey with a dark central stripe over the keel and subtle yellow patterning on the costal scutes. The marginal scutes have a more distinct pattern of dark concentric rings on a yellow background. Its plastron is mostly yellow with dark pigment on the seams. Its skin is dark green with yellow striping. It has large yellow patches on its temples, and pale whitish coloration around its mouth. Its snout is pointed like the bow of a ship.
Learn more with Schechter Natural History's Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians