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Chelydra serpentina rossignoni - Mexican snapping turtle 


 
Mexican snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina rossignoni, lives from central Veracruz in Mexico, south through Guatemala to Caribbean Honduras.
(see the geographical range map)
 
These turtles seem to be more aggressive and robust in comparison with the other subspecies - but of course personality and character changes from turtle to turtle.

 Chelydra serpentina rossignoni - Mexican snapping turtle Female Mexican snapper
 Chelydra serpentina rossignoni - Mexican snapping turtle Side view
 
This female and another male Mexican snapper, were adopted by me last year. Both turtles are doing great. The female seems to be more 'outgoing' and always hungry. The male, on the other hand, is quieter, but just as unhappy when picked up! These two are the most aggressive snappers I have ever owned.

 Chelydra serpentina rossignoni - Mexican snapping turtle Another view
 Chelydra serpentina rossignoni - Mexican snapping turtle Their heads appear strong and the coloration is dark brown.
 Chelydra serpentina rossignoni - Mexican snapping turtle The carapace of the Mexican snapper seems to be darker in coloration compared to other subspecies.
 Chelydra serpentina rossignoni - Mexican snapping turtle Plastron
 Chelydra serpentina rossignoni - Mexican snapping turtle The barbels under the Mexican snapper's chin are quite distinctive. They look kind of flat in comparison with the common snapping turtles.
 Chelydra serpentina rossignoni - Mexican snapping turtle The tubercles on the neck and other parts of the body are alongated and pointed.
 Chelydra serpentina rossignoni - Mexican snapping turtle

On May 1st 2004 the female laid eggs. I am keeping them at room temperature and the eggs should hatch between 60 - 90 days. The male and female copulated a number of times and the eggs should be fertile. These are the first ever produced eggs by this 'couple'. She is not a huge full grown female and her eggs were not as big as from the bigger females. Also, some were nice and spherical, some were a bit oval. Let's cross fingers and hope they will hatch !

July 6th 2004 - I carefully checked the eggs after illuminating them with bright light, and the first 'miracle' egg showed some blood vessels inside, which means it's alive ! It feels heavy and solid and if all goes well there should be a little turtle hatching in a month or so. Lets cross fingers ! The other three eggs I am not sure. There is one more that might be ok too, but the other two seem to have nothing inside. Time will tell...

December 12th 2004 - three of the eggs were fertile but the little turtles growing in them unfortunately, due to the unsuspected increase in the temperature, died. Such things happen, and many herp breeders go throught this. I am sad because they are gone, but at the end they will educate many people about their biology and as the result of this they will safe many turtle lives.

I have taken few photos of the embryos. Check them out here

More reading & related links:
 
        Basic snapping turtle info in one file - Introduction to snapping turtles.pdf (116 Kb)  

       Back to the four subspecies

       Chelydra serpentina serpentina
       Chelydra serpentina osceola
       Chelydra serpentina rossignoni
       Chelydra serpentina acutirostris

 


          
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