Common Name: Pond Slider turtle
Scientific Name: Trachemys scripta
Species: T. scripta
The Trachemys Scripta is more commonly known as the Pond Slider Turtle. These turtles have over a dozen sub species and three main sub species found in the U.S which are the Trachemys scripta scripta (yellow-bellied slider), Trachemys scripta elegens (red eared slider), and the Trachemys scripta trootsii (the Cumberland Turtle). The Red Eared Slider can be identified by either a red or orange patch behind each eye. This species of pond slider is darker than the others and has a domed shell. The yellow bellied slider has a yellowish patch behind both eyes that connects to a thin yellow line that runs along its neck. This characteristic can only be found in young or female sliders. Cumberland turtles are recognized by a long narrow orange stripe that can be found at the corner of each eye.
Pond sliders can be found in most fresh water environments preferring quiet, soft, muddy bottomed ponds and swamps. They range from southeastern and central United States. They have also been seen in South America and along the Gulf of Mexico. Some have even been seen in places like Eurasia. They only leave their niche to hibernate or nest. The pond slider turtle is not considered an endangered species. Females lay up to twenty-five eggs at a time in the spring or summer. Ten weeks after being laid the baby turtles will hatch. Pond slider hatchlings will remain in their nests all winter and emerge in the spring. The pond slider has been used for pet and food trade. People can use the eggs for fish bait as well.
Mature pond sliders are not in danger of being consumed by any predators because of their hard shells. On the other hand, pond slider eggs and hatchlings are preyed on by raccoons, foxes, opossums, and skunks. If they stay in water it is more difficult for predators to reach them. Predatory fish are not a concern because they find these turtles too hard to handle. One interesting thing I learned about my animal is that wild pond sliders can live up to be forty-two years old.
At first I knew absolutely nothing about my animal. But now I find it to be an interesting creature. Did you know that turtles are the only reptiles with a shell? Lots of these shells have beautiful patterns and designs on them.
Author: Madeline C.
Sources: "ADW: Trachemys scripta: Information." Animal Diversity Web. 30 Jan. 2009 . "Pond Sliders (Trachemys scripta) - The Firefly Forest." Fireflyforest.net. 11 Feb. 2009 .