Brief SummaryRead full entry
SummaryKinosternon scorpioides, the Scorpion Mud Turtle (Family Kinosternidae), is a medium to large-sized mud turtle, with adult males in some populations regularly exceeding 200 mm in carapace length. The species occurs from the Mexican state of Tamaulipas in Gulf of Mexico drainages, southward throughout the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, and throughout most of Central and South America in both Atlantic and Pacific drainages at least to the upper Río Paraná in northern Argentina. Four subspecies are currently recognized, which vary in morphology: K. s. scorpioides, K. s. abaxillare, K. s. albogulare, and K. s. cruentatum. Maximum size in various populations ranges from 150 to over 200 mm carapace length. Mature females lay up to five clutches of 1–8 eggs during an extended annual reproductive season. The species is exploited in parts of its range for tourist trinkets, pet trade, medicine, and food, but the greatest threats to its survival are from habitat degradation and alteration. Conservation measures should include expanded studies of the status of the species throughout its range, as well as detailed studies of its life history, habitat utilization, diseases, and the effects of habitat modification on individuals and populations across its range.