Pascagoula Map Turtle

Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Vertebrata
  • Class: Reptilia
  • Order: Testudines
  • Family: Emydidae
  • Subfamily: Deirochelyinae
  • Genus: Graptemys
  • Species: G. gibbonsi
  • Binomial name: Graptemys gibbonsi

Turtle Graptemys gibbonsi or the Pascagoula map turtle, is a variety of turtles that belongs to the Emydidae group and inhabits the southern part of the United States


These Map Turtles living in the Pearl Rivers and the Pascagoula, the principal city of Louisiana in Jackson County, Mississippi. These turtles exclusively inhabit Pearl River. Besides, we find them in rivulets, lakes, and streams near to or linked to these rivers. The Pascagoula map turtle shares space in the same range with Graptemys flavimaculata or the yellow-blotched map turtle.

This turtle dwells in massive muddy/sandy rivers and also in rocky streams. The males and young ones love brush piles all along the sides of the river. Females love deeper water and incline to bask slightly towards the river. They bask on the trunks of big trees rather than on small branches.


This turtle ranges from average to big size. When fully grown, the length of the females is 5.5 to 11.5 “and males are 3.5 to 5” in length. This turtle belongs to the group of Map turtles with broad heads, and as such, most of the time they eat crustaceans (mollusks). However, the Juveniles and males in particular eat insects and fish when the opportunity arises. As a hatchling, it has an exaggerated dome-shaped carapace. As they advance in age, this wears out, particularly in aged females. The mask of G. gibbonsi is not complete like the G.pulchra. G.gibbonsi is originally brown in color sporting a green, but incomplete mask, and its scutes are yellow or orange in color. The plastral pattern is absent in the G.gibbonsi except that it has Five horizontal lines outlining scute rows.

As a Pet

Pascagoula Map Turtle

Just like the other varieties of map turtles, they do not show exuberant activity. However, certain turtles are skittish. These map turtles endure moderately pure water when compared to the others in their family. However, universally speaking, map turtles are sensitive to the quality of water and you would do well to pay attention here.


The minimum suggested size of aquarium for an adult male Graptemys gibbonsi is 40 gallons (55 or bigger is ideal) and for the females, the minimum size recommended is 90 gallons (preferred size is 100 even bigger). This size is sufficient for swimming. Provide filtration for maintaining good quality of water. For one more Graptemys gibbonsi, adding a 20 gallon tank space for every addition of males and 50 gallon tank space for every female, is minimum required and is ideal.

Rubbermaid containers and stock Tanks are also sufficient. Space suggestion is the same.


When in confinement, they seem alright with food like ReptoMin and Mazuri, Cichid Sticks, Reptile/pond, assorted worms, crickets and insects.


Temperature of air: 80-85 F

Temperature for basking: 87-92 F

Temperature of water: 70-75 F

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