Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina)

Largest turtle in the Montreal area. Difficult to spot as it moves slowly, mostly submerged just below the surface of the water, and barely lifting its head out of the water from time to time to breath.

How To Identify

Usually size is not a good characteristics to distinguish a species from other. Different in this case. Adults are up to half a meter in length, way larger than other turtles in the area. Also different to other turtles is the bulky, muscular build around head and legs.

Where and When to Spot

Best time to look for the Common Snapping Turtle is spring, after the ice has melted before the growth of the foliage which will provide perfect cover later in spring. Occasionally, you may see this species on land while crossing from one pond to another.


Photos of this species with information about where, when the photo has been taken; camera, lens used and camera settings.

  • Parc de la Frayère

    Saturday, June 20, 2020

    NIKON Z 6
    300mm f/4

    Focal Length 420mm
    Shutter Speed 1/2500s
    Aperture f22.0
    ISO 8000

  • Rapids Park Lachine

    Saturday, April 29, 2017

    NIKON D500
    TAMRON SP AF 150-600mm F5-6.3 VC USD A011N

    Focal Length 600mm
    Shutter Speed 1/1250s
    Aperture f6.3
    ISO 1100

  • Rapids Park Lachine

    Saturday, April 15, 2017

    NIKON D500
    TAMRON SP AF 150-600mm F5-6.3 VC USD A011N

    Focal Length 460mm
    Shutter Speed 1/500s
    Aperture f6.3
    ISO 250


Videos are published in Fauna Flora's YouTube channel.


Chelydra serpentina