Western Pond Turtle:

Natural History


Educational Material



Your source for western pond turtle merchandise:

  • t-shirts
  • posters

… including the NEW Field Guide to the Western Pond Turtle poster!

Western Pond Turtle t-Shirts

If you or someone you love has a warm spot (read: obsession) for turtles, what better way to show it than with fashionable field gear? Here’s your opportunity to wear your heart on your sleeve with a turtle on your chest.

These tasteful, one-of-a-kind t-shirts (and onesies for the hatchlings) boast a silhouette of the original 1854 southwestern pond turtle holotype engraving (Emys nigra). Available in both men’s, women’s, and child’s fits in a variety of colors and sizes, including 100% organic cotton.


Visit the CafePress storefront to browse the available t-shirts.


POSTER: Field Guide to the Western Pond Turtle

The western pond turtle, the sole turtle native to the Pacific Coast’s rivers, creeks, and ponds, is an ofttimes reclusive reptile whose first line of defense – plunging kersplunk to watery depths – makes it difficult to appreciate this species except from afar.

So what better way to learn more about the species than with the newField Guide to the Western Pond Turtle, a diagnostic poster that draws the shy western pond turtle out of its shell. Each figure is annotated for the professional and layperson alike, making it easy to familiarize yourself with the western pond turtle’s general field markings and the traits that distinguish males and females.

Created by myself and illustrated with photos by my wife, Bay Area photographer Sarah Anne Bettelheim together with antiquarian engravings dating to the turn of the twentieth century, this visual field guide takes field guides to new heights. This poster is printed on heavyweight 7 mil semi-gloss paper using superior dye inks and is available in two sizes – 16 x 20 in. (small) or 23 x 35 in. (large) – making it perfect for the classroom, home, or office.

All posters can be purchased through CafePress.

POSTER: Young Turtles Natural Size

Reproduced from Louis Agassiz’s 1857 “Contributions to the Natural History of the United States Of America;” includes western pond turtle hatchlings referred to here as Actinemys marmorata.

All posters can be purchased through CafePress.

POSTER: Emys Nigra

Holotype specimen of the western pond turtle; reproduced from an 1859 illustration by J.H. Richard, prepared on behalf of the Pacific Railroad Surveys’ “Report Upon Reptiles of the Route.”

All posters can be purchased through CafePress.

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