The Alabama red-bellied turtle is a species of pond turtle native to Alabama. Their carapace varies in color and can be greenish to dark brown or black with yellowish, orange, or reddish markings on the sides. The plastron may be pale yellow to red in color. The skin is olive to black with yellowish facial stripes. These turtles are the official reptile of the state of Alabama.
Little is known about the lifestyle of Alabama red-bellied turtles. They are diurnal and spend most of the time foraging in vegetation or basking on logs. These turtles are quite wary creatures especially while basking; when disturbed or sense any danger they will quickly submerge underwater.
Little is known about the mating and reproductive habits in Alabama red-bellied turtles. Nesting usually occurs from May through July. Female turtles lay their eggs on dry land, digging nests in sandy soil, where 4 to 9 eggs are laid. Incubation lasts from 73 to 80 days and hatchlings usually emerge during the summer. However, when the turtles nest in late July, hatchlings may overwinter in the nest and emerge the following spring. The young are around 2.5 cm (1 in) long at birth and fully independent. Females become reproductively mature at 15 years of age but males usually reach maturity more quickly.
The biggest threat to the Alabama red-bellied turtles comes from humans. Populations of this species have been declining since the 1980s, mostly due to loss of suitable nesting areas, disturbing nestin turtles, illegal collecting for the pet trade and for food, and trapping in fishing nets. Raccoons and fish crows prey on eggs of these turtles and large fish, shorebirds, snakes, and some mammals prey on hatchlings.
The IUCN Red List and other sources don’t provide the number of the Alabama red-bellied turtle total population size. Currently, this species is classified as Endangered (EN) on the IUCN Red List.