Texas has a large and diverse turtle population, with forms that are found nowhere else (Cagle's Map Turtle and the Texas Map Turtle) and wide-ranging species that barely touch the state, including the Painted Turtles and the Rough-footed Mud Turtle. From the Sabine River to El Paso, and from the Rio Grande to the Panhandle, thirty-one native and established exotic turtle species are definitely known in Texas, along with one crocodilian, the American Alligator.
Texas Turtles & Crocodilians is the first complete identification guide to all the state's turtles and to its single alligator. It offers detailed species accounts, range maps, and excellent color photographs to aid in field identification. The authors, two of the state's most knowledgeable herpetologists, open the book with a broad overview of turtle natural history, conservation biology, observation, and captive maintenance before providing a key to Texas turtles and accounts of the various turtle families and species. Appendices provide brief accounts of species that occurred prehistorically in Texas and non-established exotic species, as well as a table of Texas' major watersheds and the turtle diversity in each one. Informational resources on Texas turtles and alligators, a map of Texas counties, a glossary, a bibliography, and indexes of common and scientific names complete the volume.
Troy D. Hibbitts, a high school science teacher, is a past president and current member of the Texas Herpetological Society. He coauthored Texas Amphibians: A Field Guide and Texas Lizards: A Field Guide. Terry L. Hibbitts, a trained biologist, is an Honorary Life Member and past president of the Texas Herpetological Society, as well as its current editor. He also coauthored Texas Amphibians: A Field Guide.
Foreword by David Haynes Acknowledgments Introduction What Is a Turtle? Evolutionary History Two Main Turtle Groups Relationship between Turtles and Other "Reptiles" What is a Crocodilian? Evolutionary History Three Main Crocodilian Groups Relationship between Crocodilians and Other "Reptiles" Relationship between Crocodilians and Birds Natural History Activity and Seasonality Reproduction Behavior Major Watersheds in Texas and Turtle Diversity Mississippi Watershed Canadian River Red River Sabine and Neches Watersheds Sabine River Neches River Trinity Watershed Brazos Watershed Colorado Watershed Guadalupe Watershed Nueces River Rio Grande Watershed Rio Grande Pecos River Devils River Conservation Habitat Loss and Fragmentation Pollution Climate Change Introduced Species Effects of Predator Control on Turtles and Turtle Nests Effects of the International Trade in Turtle Meat Products Collection for the Pet Trade as Cause of Decline Impacts of Fisheries Practices upon Turtle Species Historic Declines and Recovery of the American Alligator Impacts of Sport Hunting on American Alligator Population in Texas Observation and Collection of Turtles and Crocodilians Observation of Turtles and Crocodilians Turtle and Crocodilian Photography Collection of Turtles Legal Aspects of Collecting Turtles and Crocodilians Local Laws Texas State Laws Federal Laws Permits and Collecting Turtles and Crocodilians in Texas Threatened, Endangered, and Protected Nongame Species Maintenance of Turtles and Crocodilians Maintenance of Turtles and Crocodilians in Captivity Creation of Turtle and Crocodilian Habitat Handling of Turtles and Crocodilians Museum and Preserved Specimens Scientific and Common Names Dichotomous Key to Texas Turtles Dichotomous Keys Key to Texas Turtles Systematic Accounts Class: Chelonia Order Cryptodeira Family: Chelydridae Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) Alligator Snapping Turtle (Macrochelys temminckii) Family: Emydidae Cagle's Map Turtle (Graptemys caglei) Ouachita Map Turtle (Graptemys ouachitensis) Sabine Map Turtle (Graptemys sabinensis) False Map Turtle (Graptemys pseudogeographica) Texas Map Turtle (Graptemys versa) Diamond-backed Terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin) River Cooter (Pseudemys concinna) Rio Grande Cooter (Pseudemys gorzugi) Texas River Cooter (Pseudemys texana) Florida Red-bellied Cooter (Pseudemys nelsoni)--introduced Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta) Mexican Plateau Slider (Trachemys gaigeae) Pond Slider (Trachemys scripta) Chicken Turtle (Deirochelys reticularia) Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina) Ornate Box Turtle (Terrapene ornata) Family: Testudinidae Texas Tortoise (Gopherus berlandieri) Family: Trionychidae Smooth Softshell (Apalone mutica) Spiny Softshell (Apalone spinifera) Family: Kinosternidae Yellow Mud Turtle (Kinosternon flavescens) Rough-footed Mud Turtle (Kinosternon hirtipes) Eastern Mud Turtle (Kinosternon subrubrum) Razor-backed Musk Turtle (Sternotherus carinatus) Stinkpot (Sternotherus odoratus) Family: Cheloniidae Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta) Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) Hawksbill Sea Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys kempii) Family: Dermatochelyidae Leatherback Sea Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) Class: Crocodilia Family: Alligatoridae American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) Appendix A: Species with Prehistoric Occurrence in Texas Appendix B: Nonestablished Exotic Species Appendix C: Table of Texas Turtles and Crocodilians and River Drainages They Inhabit Appendix D: Turtle and Crocodilian Informational Resources Appendix E: Map of Texas Counties Glossary Bibliography Index of Common Names Index of Scientific Names