The genus Macrochelys (alligator snapping turtles) inhabits river systems that empty into the Gulf of Mexico from Florida to Texas and contains the largest freshwater turtles in North America (Pritchard 2006). This paper details observations of Macrochelys on the coast and barrier islands in Franklin and Gulf counties, Florida, that contribute to our knowledge of their movements in brackish or saltwater ecosystems and occurrence on islands. Thomas et al. (2014) described turtles from this geographical area as a new species, Apalachicola alligator snapping turtle (M. apalachicolae), but Folt and Guyer (2015) disputed this designation, and many authorities still consider them to be alligator snapping turtles (M. temminckii; e.g., Crother 2017, Turtle Taxonomy Working Group 2017).
|Title||Coastal observations of alligator snapping turtles in the Florida Panhandle|
|Authors||Kevin M. Enge, Bradley S. Smith, Brooke L. Talley, Terri Cannon, Travis M. Thomas, Daniel J. Catizone|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Florida Field Naturalist|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Wetland and Aquatic Research Center|