U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version



Published in the Herpetological Review 40(1), 2009.


Chelydra serpentine serpentine (Common Snapping Turtle). Nesting Behavior and Site Selection. On May 31, 2008, we observed a ca. 36 cm CL Chelydra serpentine serpentine in unexpected nesting circumstances. Observations were made from 0908 to 1027 h on clear day with ambient temp ca 24° C. The nest site near Longmont, Colorado, USA (40.1599528°N, 105.1259861°W; WGS84) was 4.3 m from a seasonal ditch running north-south to connect two lakes, one on either side of a busy road. The intriguing aspect of the nest location was that it was immediately adjacent to a heavily traveled concrete sidewalk that bordered a road with a high volume of traffic. The frequent foot traffic on the sidewalk and virtually constant vehicle traffic on the adjacent road did not deter the turtle from the particular nest location, even though virtually identical soils, gradients, and directional aspects were available equidistant from the ditch, but away from constant human activity.