In courtship, males nudge the female's head while swimming and if she chooses to mate, the male will swim above the female without clasping her with his claws (unlike most other turtles).
Mating System: polygynandrous (promiscuous)
Spiny softshell turtles reach adulthood between the ages of 8 to 10 years old. They mate in mid to late spring in deep water. Female spiny softshell turtles lay their clutches along a sunny sandbar or gravel bank in a cavity that they dig close to water as quickly as possible (usually within an hour). Spiny softshell turtles sometimes nest more than once during a season. They lay between 9 and 38 round eggs which hatch from August to September. Clutches can even incubate through the winter and hatch in the spring.
Breeding interval: Breeding occurs once yearly, sometimes several times in a year.
Breeding season: Spiny softshell turtles mate in mid to late spring.
Range number of offspring: 9 to 38.
Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 8 to 10 years.
Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 8 to 10 years.
Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; oviparous
Females give their eggs enough nutrients for development and put them into a safe nest. Once the eggs are laid there is no more parental care.
Parental Investment: no parental involvement; pre-fertilization (Provisioning, Protecting: Female); pre-hatching/birth (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female)
- Harding, J. 1997. Amphibians and Reptiles of the Great Lakes Region. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
- Behler, J., F. King. 1998. National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles and Amphibians. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc..
- Conant, R., J. Collins. 1998. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians; Eastern and Central North America. New York: Houghton Mifflin Co..
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