Pseudemys is a genus of large, herbivorous, freshwater turtles of the eastern United States and adjacent northeast Mexico. They are often referred to as cooters, which stems from kuta, the word for turtle in the Bambara and Malinké languages, brought to America by enslaved people from Africa.
The genus Pseudemys is endemic to North America. All but one species are endemic to the USA, predominantly occurring in the Southern United States and peripheral areas of southeast Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and southeast Kansas. The northern red-bellied cooter (Pseudemys rubriventris), ranges north into central New Jersey with some smaller isolated populations in New York and Massachusetts. The westernmost species, the Rio Grande cooter (Pseudemys gorzugi), occurs in the Rio Grande and several of its tributaries on the USA – Mexico border, in Texas and the neighboring Mexican states of Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, and Tamaulipas, following the Pecos River into extreme southeast New Mexico. The greatest diversity is in northern Florida and adjacent areas of southern Georgia and Alabama where six taxa occur.