Date of Award


Degree Name

Biological Sciences


College of Science

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Michael E. Seidel

Second Advisor

Dan K. Evans

Third Advisor

Thomas K. Pauley


An ecological study of the wood turtle, Clemmys insculpta (LeConte), was conducted in West Virginia from May 1991 to March 1993. Population structure at the primary study area (WV #1) was estimated to be 46% juvenile (H-8 yrs. old), 26% female and 28% male. Total population estimate for WV #1 was 337 wood turtles, with an aquatic density of 1,980 turtles per Hectare of river and a terrestrial density of 22.5 turtles per ha of terrestrial habitat. Growth measurements and estimates indicate rapid initial growth tapering off at year 8 and gradually declining through year 16. Males grow slightly faster than females after the sixth year. Results of movements indicate that wood turtles utilize a wide variety of habitats, including intensively farmed fields. Winter hibernation was found to be strongly centered in a single pool of the WV #1 study area. Analysis of food habits indicates that feeding begins with emergence from water in April. Terrestrial feeding is probably continuous in spring and summer until turtles return to aquatic habitats in October. Reproductive behavior and ectoparasites were noted.


Clemmys insculpta - West Virginia.

Clemmys insculpta - Ecology.