The adult diamondback terrapin nests on sandy borders of coastal salt marshes or in dunes from June to July. Its maximum egg-laying activity occurs at high tide and ensures that the eggs will be laid above the high water level. The female digs holes 4 to 8 in (10–20 cm) deep, depositing between 4 and 15 pinkish white eggs. The eggs hatch in 9 to 15 weeks. Occasionally after hatching, the young may remain in the nest for the first winter, emerging in April and May to head for ocean waters. This nesting instinct was given to this creature by its Creator.
CLASS: Reptilia (reptiles)
ORDER: Testudines (tortoises and turtles)
FAMILY: Emydidae (box and pond turtles)
GENUS/SPECIES: Malaclemys terrapin
Size: Male 5 in (13 cm); female 7.5 in (19 cm)
Diet: Crustaceans, mollusks, fish, and insects
Habitat: Coastal swamps of eastern and southern United States