Skye and I were headed into town this morning for onions and eggs from the Farmer's Market and her piano lesson, when we encountered this fellow crossing the road just south of our place. We swung around and grabbed the camera. By the time we got back, he was probably ten yards down the side road ditch. I didn't know turtles could move so fast!
We sat down a while ago to report him to the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission as part of their citizen science Box Turtle Survey, but it turns out that he's not a box turtle. Or at least I don't think he is. But I'm not sure what he is. Does anyone out there know? I know the picture of his carapace (top shell) is not that great, but his plastron (bottom shell) doesn't seem to match up with any of the pictures I can find for Arkansas turtles. He also had a much flatter shell than the "box" that box turtles have. We surely would like to know the name of this fellow who was just passing through.
Update: The nice gentleman at the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission tells me the turtle looks like an adult red-eared slider. How would you like to go through life with a name like that?