Size (shell diameter): Hatchlings 2-2.5 cm, Juveniles 10cm, Mature adults 25 cm (females larger than males). The carapace (upper shell) of adults is smooth, olive-green to dark brown. Outer edges can be patterned with red lines. The head, neck and tail are olive to greenish-black and striped with yellow. The intricate black and yellow branching pattern on the plastron (lower shell) is not present on all individuals, though the plastron is always red or orange. Colour patterning can be variable between individuals and between populations. The upper jaw has a notch located just under the nostrils. Males have very long front claws and thicker tails with a cloacal (tail vent) opening that is closer to the end of the tail than to the carapace. Females have shorter front claws, and thinner tails with cloacal openings closer to the carapace than to the end of the tail. Hatchlings have rounder carapaces that are slightly keeled along the length and similar but more vibrant colouration than adults. *In 2003, DNA studies suggested that the Eastern, Midland and Western North American subspecies of Painted Turtle should be merged to just a single species (C. picta), leaving only one other separate species in the southern US.