Fauna Flora Photography

Common Snapping Turtle Chelydra serpentina

Common Snapping Turtle Chelydra serpentina

Testudines > Testudines > Chelydridae

Names in different Languages

EnglishCommon Snapping Turtle
FrenchTortue serpentine
SpanishTortuga mordedora


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 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.



You can watch these videos and many more on Muuuh's YouTube Channel.


2022-04-30Parc Angrignon
2020-06-20Parc de la Frayère
2017-04-29Parc des Rapides
2017-04-15Parc des Rapides

Last updated on 2023-01-15. Written and regularly updated by Karl-Heinz Müller, Dipl. Natw. ETH, Biology. With 10 years of experience in wildlife photography, Karl-Heinz shares first-hand, on-site collected observations, photos and videos from his frequent visits to parks in the Montreal area.