Red Eared Sliders

Scientific Name Trachemys scripta elegans

Native To Southern United States

Habitat Inhabit areas of standing water and abundant aquatic

Diet Omnivorous. They feed on invertebrates, crustaceans, small fish, insects, snails and aquatic vegetation.

Size and Age Average length 8cm-37cm. Average weight is up to 3 kg. Average Lifespan is 20-60 years.

Natural History

The Red Eared Slider is a small freshwater turtle native to the Southern United States. They are easily identifiable by the bright red stripe found behind their eye, and the yellow stripes found on their skin. Turtles are reptiles and ectothermic, meaning they are cold-blooded and unable to regulate their own body temperature. Red Eared Sliders are commonly found basking on rocks and logs in the sunlight, or burrowed into the earth during the winter for brumation.

Least Concern

Conservation Status

Red Eared Sliders are on the 100 most invasive species list, meaning there are too many currently in the wild. It is vital that pet owners of Red Eared Sliders refrain from releasing these animal into the wild. Pets are exposed to everything they have at home. They are not prepared for the demanding lifestyle presented in the wild. Hunting for food, surviving climate change, and other environmental changes can cause immediate stress on an animal. When looking to adopt any type of animal, ensure that you ask questions such as where they came from, what kind of care do they need, and do they have any medical conditions. It is vital that we refrain from taking animals from the wild as pets, because we do not have any prior knowledge of that animal’s life. Knowing as much information as you can about an animal before you adopt is essential; that way you know exactly what you’re getting into.

Interesting Facts

  1. Red Eared Sliders get their name from the red stripe found behind their eye.
  2. Red Eared Sliders brumate during the winter season. Brumation is a phase when these creatures stay inactive under water or in a burrow, similar to hibernation.
  3. As this turtle ages, their shells can darken, the lines and patches disappear, until they are a uniform dark olive green or brown.
  4. A turtle’s shell is made of keratin, which is the same protein that is in your hair and fingernails
  5. Red Eared Sliders are on the 100 most invasive species list.