Taxonomic Information

The currently recognized scientific name for the painted turtle is Chrysemys picta, but there have been other names for this species in the past. There have also been changes in the scientific names of the four subspecies. The taxonomic history of the species, as described in the EMBL reptile database, is given below.
Much of this information can be found in Ernst, C. and R. Barbour, 1972
There is no type specimen designated for Chrysemys picta, according to the Florida Museum of Natural History database.

Painted turtle:

Subphylum: Vertebrata

Class: Reptilia

Subclass: Anapsida

Order: Testudines

Family: Emydidae

Subfamily: Emydinae

Chrysemys picta (Schneider 1783)


Testudo picta Schneider 1783

Chrysemys picta Gray 1855


Eastern painted turtle:

Chrysemys picta picta (Schneider 1783)


Testudo cinerea Bonnaterre 1789

Chrysemys cinerea Boulenger 1889

Chrysemys picta picta Bishop & Schmidt 1931

From Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History


Midland painted turtle:

Chrysemys picta marginata Agassiz 1857


Chrysemys marginata Agassiz 1857

Chrysemys picta marginata Bishop & Schmidt 1931


From Ernst &Barbour 1972


Southern painted turtle:

Chrysemys picta dorsalis Agassiz 1857


Chrysemys dorsalis Agassiz 1857

Chrysemys cinerea var. dorsalis Boulenger 1889

Chrysemys picta dorsalis Bishop & Schmidt 1931

From Ernst &Barbour 1972


Western painted turtle:

Chrysemys picta bellii (Gray 1831)


Emys bellii Gray 1831

Emys oregoniensis Harlan 1837

Chrysemys nuttallii Agassiz 1857

Chrysemys pulchra Gray 1873

Chrysemys cinerea var. bellii Boulenger 1889

Chrysemys treleasei Hurter 1911

Chrysemys picta bellii Bishop & Schmidt 1931

Chrysemys picta bellii Liner 1994


(Photo from Happy Hollow Park & Zoo website)



Museums with Specimens


The following are a list of museums in the United States that have specimens of painted turtles in their herpetology collections. Note: This list only includes museums with an online database of their collections.

California Academy of Sciences: has 88 specimens (http:\\

Illinois Natural History Survey: has 232 specimens (http:\\

Texas Natural History: has 3 specimens (http:\\



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