Common Snapping Turtle

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.

We combine physical characterics and behavior patterns with location and seasonal aspects to identify species.

Where & When to Spot?

Rapids Park Lachine is the only place I was able to spot this turtle species. 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.

With each photo, we store date and geo-location providing us data about location and season of observation. We also use a tracking utility to save observations in the field when there was no opportunity to take a good shot.

Anything to add, to correct?

Common Names

Schnappschildkröte [de]
Common Snapping Turtle [en]
Tortuga mordedora [es]
Tortue serpentine [fr]

Source: Wikipedia

Scientific Name

Chelydra serpentina


common snapping turtle, reptiles, chelydra, chelydra serpentina, turtles