Also known as a “sawback” turtle, the carapace features a vertebral row of low spines, and is serrated on the posterior rim. The carapace is olive to brown in color with light yellowish markings with dark borders. The plastron color varies from cream to yellow and is patterned with dark lines along the seams in juveniles. The body color of the false map turtle is grayish brown to blackish and is marked with light brown, yellow, or whitish stripes. The eye can be brown, light yellow, white, or green and is crossed with a dark bar. Narrow hooked marks behind the eye fuse with dorsal lines on the head and neck. Also, small light-colored spots occur below the eye and on the chin.
- Conant, R. (1975). A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America, Second Edition. Houghton Mifflin. Boston. xviii + 429 pp. + 48 plates. ISBN 0-395-19979-4 (hardcover), ISBN 0-395-19977-8 (paperback). (Graptemys pseudogeographica, pp. 57–58 + Plate 8 + Map 14.)
- Ernst, C.H., J.E. Lovich and R.W. Barbour. (1994). Turtles of the United States and Canada. Smithsonian Institution Press. Washington, District of Columbia.
- Gray, J.E. (1831). Synopsis Reptilium; or Short Descriptions of the Species of Reptiles. Part I.—Cataphracta. Tortoises, Crocodiles, and Enaliosaurians. Treuttel, Wurz, and Co. London. viii + 85 pp. + 11 plates. (Emys pseudogeographica, p. 31.)
- Smith, H.M., and E.D. Brodie Jr. (1982). Reptiles of North America: A Guide to Field Identification. Golden Press. New York. 240 pp. ISBN 0-307-13666-3 (paperback). (Graptemys pseudogeographica, pp. 50–51.)