The Fascinating Natural History of Red Eared Slider Turtles

The Fascinating Natural History of Red-Eared Slider Turtles

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The red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans), a semi-aquatic turtle that belongs to the Emydidae family, is a subspecies of the pond slider (Trachemys scripta). It is the most often kept as a pet outside of the United States and is also the most invasive turtle. The turtle is the one that is traded the most all across the world. In this article we will learn about the fascinating natural history of the red-eared slider turtles, to begin with, the red-eared slider is a native to the Midwest of the United States and northern Mexico, but due to pet releases, it has migrated to other areas and become an invasive species in many places where it has displaced native species. One of the top 100 invasive species in the world is the red-eared slider.

The red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans), a semi-aquatic turtle belonging to the Emydidae family, is a subspecies of the pond slider (Trachemys scripta). The turtle is the animal that is both the most common to keep as a pet outside of the US and the most invasive. The turtle is the animal that is traded the most globally.

Origin of red-eared slider

The Midwest region of the United States and northern Mexico are the natural habitats of the red-eared slider. Yet, it has spread to other locations as a result of pet releases, displacing native species in many of those areas. One of the top 100 invasive species in the world is the red-eared slider.

Origin of its name

The term “red-eared slider” refers to both the turtles ability to easily slide over rocks and logs into the water as well as the little, red stripe that runs around its ears, or rather, where its ears would be. In honor of an American herpetologist named Gerard Troost, this species was once referred to as Troost’s turtle

The red-eared slider’s original name

Testudinata is the official scientific name for the group of turtles, while Chelonia is also widely used. In the 1950s, the more familiar term Testudines was given to the turtle order.

Distribution of red-eared sliders?

In Victoria, red-eared slider turtles have been spotted in the wild. They are no longer present at Elsternwick Park Lake in Melbourne, the Yarra River, a few significant thoroughfares, and other places. The authorities also carried out a trapping operation near Fyansford in the Moorabool River in an effort to prevent an animal from reproducing there.

The red-eared slider turtles that were discovered in Victoria were either purchased as strays on the illegal market or purposely released as strays. One of the major threats to red-eared slider turtles establishing in Victoria is illegal turtle keeping. It can be expensive and difficult to capture animals that have escaped or were deliberately released into the wild.

Is the red-eared slider native to India?

Native to the southern United States and Mexico, the red-eared slider has been reported to have spread to other countries, including India, according to Jayaditya Purkayastha, an Assamese wildlife scientist and member of the IUCN turtle expert group.

Red-eared slider adaptations?

Red-eared slider turtles share the general adaptations of most other turtle types, such as having hard shells or the capacity to retract themselves inside their shells, with the exception of having a body and shell color that is brown, black, or dull green, which is typical of the waters and areas where these turtles live. Many animals behave in this manner because of apsematic coloring, which explains why certain species have a particular pattern or hue that predators have learnt to avoid for a number of reasons.

How old is the oldest red-eared slider

In August, Magoo, the oldest red-eared slider turtle, turned 65. Almost her whole 65-year relationship has been with Marie Valpey(her owner). Magoo is a female, but Johnny Valpey’s kid gave her the moniker when the Red-Eared Slider turtle was purchased in August 1956. When compared to Johnny, who was 5 at the time, Magoo is without a doubt one of the oldest Red-Eared Slider turtles still living, if not the oldest. The oldest Red-eared Slider in the world survived for 37 years and 9 months, according to a 2002 study.

A Red-Eared Slider who lived for 40 years was subsequently found to have surpassed the lifespan cap. Magoo is 65 years old now, of course.

Quick facts about red-eared sliders

  1. The appearance of red eared slider
  1. Life span and reproduction
  1. Habitat of red eared slider
  1. Population
  1. Predators and threats

The unique red stripe behind the eye makes this turtle, which is common across America, easier to identify. Biologists estimate that at least 50 million of these animals are kept as pets worldwide, despite the fact that they are native to the southern region of North America. The top, dorsal carapace, and the lower, ventral carapace, or plastron, are the two halves of their shell. According to the turtle’s age, the carapace’s color varies. Dark green is frequently the background of the carapace, with a wide variety of bright and dark patterns. When a turtle is young or has just hatched, its shell is leaf green. As it ages, it gradually gets darker until it is an extremely dark green, at which point it transitions between brown and olive green. The majority of scutes in the plastron always have dark, paired, irregular patterns in their centers. There are tiny, erratic yellow stripes on the green tail, legs, and head. Typically, the species’ females are bigger than the males.

One of several turtle species with a reputation for living an extremely long existence is the red-eared slider. Its usual lifespan is around 30 years, however it has been known to reach 40 years. Nevertheless, it does not last as long in captivity.

The mating season for red-eared slider females lasts from April until the end of October, and she can lay up to four batches of two to twenty eggs each. The female selects a sunny area and builds a nest while standing on her rear legs. From her normal residence, she could have to drive up to 0.99 miles to get there.

Semi-aquatic red-eared sliders must live close to fresh or brackish water, which is found in savannas or forest settings. They may be found in quiet marshes, rivers, ponds, creeks, streams, lagoons, ponds, and even ephemeral farm ponds. They want water that is three feet deep and softly moving.The turtle has been transported to many other places across the world, despite being a native of the region around the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. The Blue Ridge Mountains, California, Hawaii, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and other states may now all have populations of red-eared sliders. In locations like Canada, Mexico, Africa, Australia, Israel, southern Europe, the Netherlands, Japan, China, Indonesia, and other Asian nations, it is still present. Experts claim that the turtle’s ability to survive subfreezing temperatures and its simple diet are two contributing factors to its success.

These turtles are quite common and number in the tens of millions. In 2016, there were eight million people living in Japan alone, and this country’s native turtle species were being wiped out. The turtle is not just a species of least concern for conservation, but is also an invasive species in many areas.

Predators could be deterred by a shell with scutes or by a shell that flashes colors to indicate that the animal might be dangerous. Although while some turtles have managed to evade attacks from predators as powerful as alligators, red-eared slider turtles are devoured by a variety of carnivores, including humans. Nonetheless, T. scripta elegans is a favorite of a number of predators, including alligators and snakes, who prefer to eat the shells whole rather than bothering to break them. Coyotes, foxes, armadillos, mustelids, skunks, and wading birds are other animals that consume turtles.

Investigating the red-eared slider spread

Turtles are a fascinating stand-in for several invasive species since they are one of the only animals that can hybridize over significant historical boundaries. Simison is excited about the chance to test some of the most fundamental hypotheses about evolution and speciation, which he views as the “engine propelling our planet’s biodiversity,” and is ready to test them. To better understand how these long-lived reptiles influence biodiversity as they move to new areas in the Americas, the Caribbean, and Central America, the Academy’s Center for Comparative Genomics is conducting a protracted research. Simison asserts that the southern-middle portion of the red-eared slider’s historic range in the United States is the area we are now looking at. By observing where and how they hybridize, even down to specific genes, we may be able to pinpoint exactly what happens when previously isolated species start to mix. Not every story has a good conclusion, particularly for certain regional or indigenous cultures.


The natural history of Red-eared slider turtles is that is is a subspecies of pond sliders,(Trachemys scripta elegans), a semi-aquatic turtle from the Emydidae family (Trachemys scripta). The pet turtle is the one to maintain outside of the US that is both the most popular and the most invasive. The animal species that is traded most frequently on a worldwide scale is the Red eared slider turtle. The red-eared slider turtle’s natural habitat is in northern Mexico and the Midwest of the United States, but due to pet releases, it has spread to new areas and has become an invasive species in many places where it has displaced native species. This page will discuss the distinct natural history of red-eared slider turtles.


What are fascinating facts about red-eared sliders?

They are incredibly vibration-sensitive and have strong eyesight but poor hearing. If surprised or alarmed, they will quickly slide over rocks or logs back into the water (hence the name).

What is the past of the red-eared slider?

The red-eared slider is a native to the Midwest of the United States and northern Mexico, but due to pet releases, it has migrated to other areas and become an invasive species in many places where it has displaced native species. The red-eared slider is one of the top 100 invasive species in the world.

Where the red-eared slider turtle come from?

Red-eared sliders’ natural habitat consists of the Mississippi Valley, which stretches from Illinois to the Gulf of Mexico, as well as regions to the east and west, all the way up to eastern New Mexico.

What kind of environment does the red-eared slider prefer?

The presence of several places to find shade, including logs, rocks, and bird nests, makes red-eared sliders favor wetlands, riparian areas, and freshwater lakes. It frequently inhabits distant riverbanks, lakes, and ponds.

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