On July 8th, we had a pleasant surprise on Edisto Beach State Park. While two interns, Dalton and Ciara, were checking a Loggerhead turtle nest, they discovered a new Diamond Backed Terrapin hatchling. This hatchling was headed towards the ocean, and it needed to be relocated to the marsh. Diamond Backed Terrapins usually lay their eggs along marshy vegetation or in the sand dunes. They lay 25-40 eggs per season between the months of April-July. By moving the terrapin to the marsh, we gave it a better chance for survival.
We have two Diamond Backed Terrapins at the Environmental Learning Center. While the subspecies of those is not known, it can be assumed that the hatchling was a Carolina Diamond Backed Terrapin. Carolina terrapins have a parallel carapace and are most similar to the Northern Diamond Backed Terrapin subspecies. For all Diamond Backed Terrapins, the females are larger than the males. They have gray skin that is covered in black dots. Other subspecies have lighter skin, but they still have the black dots and other dark colorations along their skin.
Sea Turtle Specialist