Smooth Softshell (Apalone mutica) - Ohio Herp Atlas

Smooth Softshell Apalone mutica

Unlike its Eastern Spiny relative, the Smooth Softshell has no spines or other projections on its carapace. Also unlike the Spiny Softshell, its nostrils are not ridged and its feet are not strongly spotted or streaked. Marks on the carapace of the Smooth Softshell consist of irregular small dots and dashes, unlike the much larger dark circular spots found on the Eastern Spiny Softshell. The Smooth Softshell is limited primarily to southern and southeastern Ohio where it inhabits the larger tributaries of the Ohio River, particularly the Scioto River. They are especially fond of shallow water areas along sandbars. As with the Spiny Softshell, the females of the Smooth Softshell are much larger than the males. LENGTH: Males - 4”–7”; Females - 6”–14”

Text courtesy of the Ohio Division of Wildlife: https://wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/portals/wildlife/pdfs/publications/id%20guides/pub354_Reptiles-opt.pdf

Distribution Map
Distribution map of Smooth Softshell (Apalone mutica)
Photographs