Southeastern United States south from southeastern Virginia to northeastern Florida.
Mainly aquatic; inhabit swamps, ponds, streams, and drainage ditches. Adults usually take cover under vegetation in water including twigs, leaves, or moss. Females lay eggs beneath logs or affix them to vegetation floating in water. Diet consists of crustaceans like aquatic isopods and amphipods.
Dorsum either brown or muted yellow with dark and light stripes on sides. Exhibits a short head and tail. Venter usually yellow with brown spots. Become sexually mature at ages 3 or 4. Females and males mate in the fall. Females lay clutches which contain as many as 100 eggs; stay with eggs until they hatch.
Learn more with Schechter Natural History's Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians