Apalone spinifera, 14 May 2006

Apalone spinifera, the Spiny softshell turtle;
Lake county, Florida (14 May 2006).

Though native elsewhere in the United States, the Spiny softshell is not native to peninsular Florida. Truly, the Florida peninsula is nothing short of a postmodern mash of ecological swirling. The state is awash with non-native species, and the Spiny softshell is one of many. The individual photographed here is the only Spiny softshell I’ve seen and photographed in central Florida. More specifically, this was in the Mount Dora area — not far from historic downtown. Spiny soft shells are far more established in the Miami area.

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