The Graptemys versa or the Texas Map turtle is commonly found in Colorado River drainage in Texas. The Texas Map Turtle is one of the smaller species of the Map turtles. It is a semi aquatic turtle that has an elliptical, keeled and serrated carapace. The carapace is flat but rises up in the middle into a single vertebral keel that runs medially along the carapace. The keels protrude into a single row of light colored knobs. The posterior end of the shell is slightly jagged. The carapace can be olive or light brown with intricate patterns, swirls and whorls in yellow, orange and black lines. The lines resemble those on a roadmap and that is what gives it the name Map Turtle.These patterns are more prominent in hatchlings and juveniles and fade as the turtle grows up and ages. Old Texas Map Turtles might have completely plain carapace with layers of algal growth covering up the carapace. The plastron is yellow with dark colors at the seams of every scute. The plastron is hingeless and together with the carapace highly insufficient to completely hide the turtle when required. The head is the key feature to distinguish it from other Map turtles. A belt of yellow extends from the face, curving across the eyes to throat. The key distinctive feature is the J-shaped mark on its head. The pupils are round with a partial bar across the iris. Under the chin are round yellow spots. Females are larger than the males reaching up to 8 inches carapace length and have a comparatively broader head then males. The Texas Map Turtle Habitat The Texas map Turtle is found in Colorado River and originating streams in Texas. The Graptemys versa are usually found in swift flowing, muddy rivers with considerable depth. They are often found in rocky bottom water bodies, waterfalls and creeks. The Texas Map Turtle in their natural habitat are exclusive to Edward plateau region. Male Texas Map Turtles can reach a maximum carapace length of 3.5 inches and can be kept in a 30 gallon aquarium. Females need at least 60 gallon. The Texas Map Turtle are avid baskers. A protruding rock, a floating piece of wood or a raised platform can be used as a basking area. The basking area should be dry and large enough to support the turtle in weight and size. A UVB light and a Heating lamp should be placed over the basking area to regulate the temperature between 85-95 degrees Fahrenheit. Though the Graptemys versa lives in a naturally muddy environment in captivity you are advised to provide clean non chlorinated water. An under water filter and heater should be fitted in the aquarium. The water should be filtered at regular intervals and the water temperature should be maintained around 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The Texas Map turtle Diet The Texas Map turtles are omnivores with a greater inclination towards flesh. However their diet completely depends on availability. In captivity you can feed them both green, leafy vegetables and an assortment of insects, worms, fish and chicken liver or meat chunks. Keepers are recommended to give them a weekly dose of vitamins and calcium supplements mixed with their food.