Graptemys pseudogeographica pseudogeographica is a medium to large map turtle. Females will typically reach 8-10”(20.3-25.4cm), max 10.6” (27cm), while males stay smaller at 3.5-5.5” (8.9-14cm), max 5.9” (15cm).
The carapace is olive to brown with yellow, oval-shaped markings and a dark blotch on each pleural scute. It has a defined, but low keel and its posterior edge is serrated. Small vertebral spines are noticeable in hatchlings and juveniles, but almost completely disappear in adult females. The plastron is cream to yellow with an extensive seam following pattern that slowly vanishes with age. The skin of the head, neck, legs, and tail is olive to dark olive with yellow markings.
The post-orbital mark is typically hockey-stick- or L-shaped with the handle extending as a stripe down the neck, though it is variable and occasionally appears as a triangular or rectangular blotch. There are typically dots above and below the jaw-line on each side of the head. The post-orbital mark mentioned previously and combined with yellow eyes with a transverse bar and a yellow beak identifies G. p. pseudogeographica from the other subspecies, G. p. kohnii. Males will have longer and wider tails with the cloacal opening 1/2 to 2/3rds of the way down the tail and a more juvenile appearance. Females will have shorter, narrower tails, a much larger build, and broader heads, though not to the extent of the broad-head group of Graptemys species.