Spiny Softshell Apalone spinifera (LeSueur, 1827)In need of conservation  -  S1 (Highly state rare)  -  Vulnerable  -  Garrett only    Synonyms: Apalone spinifera spinifera, Eastern Spiny Softshell.
Kingdom Animalia   >   Phylum Chordata   >   Class Reptilia   >   Order Testudines   >   Family Trionychidae   >   Genus Apalone   


The Spiny Softshell (Apalone spinifera) is considered rare in Maryland, with records only from Garrett County. This species is widely distributed in the Ohio River drainage in central North America, but in Maryland, this zone is highly restricted, and consequently, the species is not common. Spiny Softshells generally prefer creeks or rivers with silty or sandy substrates and aquatic vegetation. They will sometimes utilize still water habitats such as ponds or lakes. Softshells are frequently conspicuous baskers on rocks or banks. They can also often be seen periscoping at the surface, with just the head and snout above the water. In Maryland, this turtle is considered to be in need of conservation. It is ranked as S1 (highly state rare) and is considered vulnerable to extirpation (Maryland DNR).

There are 11 records in the project database.

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A Spiny Softshell in northwestern Arkansas (8/2010). Highly state rare (S1) in Maryland and listed as in need of conservation (likely to become threatened). Very local population. Photo by Hans Holbrook. (MBP list)

A Spiny Softshell in Garrett Co., Maryland (7/28/2012). Photo by Mikey Lutmerding. (MBP list)

A Spiny Softshell in Garrett Co., Maryland (7/28/2012). Photo by Mikey Lutmerding. (MBP list)

Spiny Softshell in Garrett Co., Maryland (Date obscured). (c) Kyle Klotz, all rights reserved. Photo by Kyle Klotz. (MBP list)

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