Apalone ferox (Florida Softshell Turtle) ♀.
Photo: 07/05/20, 11 am.

For about four days, this softshell turtle was an uninvited guest in our pool. We tried to lift her out with the pool skimmer, to grab her, elevated the water level, and built a huge wooden bridge out of the pool that she ignored for about three days. Then today I couldn't believe my eyes ... she was suddenly out of the pool at the fence. Thank God! Florida softshell turtles are almost entirely aquatic and prefer to bury themselves in the sandy or muddy substrate. Like all softshells, they are very fast-moving in water and on land. While this species is omnivorous, its diet consists largely of meat, consuming mainly fish, insects, crustaceans, frogs and mollusks. It may also scavenge.