(Trachemys scripta elegans)
Red-eared terrapins get their name from the striking patch of red, which can be seen on each side of the head. The rest of the head, neck and limbs have yellow stripes, which can appear very bright in some individuals. They have an oval shaped shell, which can be olive green through to dark brown in colour. Females tend to be larger than males and can reach a shell length of 29cm.
Habitat & Distribution
Swamps, marshes, ponds and rivers in eastern and central North America. This species has been introduced into the wild on several other continents when no longer wanted as a pet.
Red-eared terrapins are omnivores (they eat both meat and plants). Generally, juveniles will mostly eat small aquatic invertebrates and their tastes will change as they mature, until they reach adulthood when they tend to feed mainly on vegetation found within waterways.
Did you know?
This species is also called the ‘red-eared slider’ due to the way it will slide from rocks into the water when threatened.
Also known as the ‘red-eared slider, this is one of three sub-species of slider. The three different subspecies have subtle differences in their markings and colouration.
Red-eared terrapins can live for up to 30 years in captivity!