Eastern Spiny Softshell


 

Eastern Spiny Softshell (Apalone spinifera spinifera)

 Spiny softshells are named for the numerous small bumps on the front edge of the carapace.  The carapace length reaches 18 inches and is tan to olive in color with numerous black-bordered spots.

 Spiny softshells are totally aquatic, only coming out of water to lay eggs or bask briefly in the sun.  They inhabit small creeks, rivers, ponds, or lakes.  Mating occurs in April or May with egg deposition occurring in June or July.  Eggs usually hatch in late summer to autumn. 

 Spiny softshells are found in West Virginia west of the Allegheny Mountains.

 

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