Chiapas Giant Musk Turtle - Staurotypus salvinii - SalvinÍs Musk Turtle
SalvinÍs Musk turtle, Staurotypus Salvinii or the Chiapas Giant Musk Turtle is more commonly found in the Mexican states Chiapas and Oaxaca. They have also been discovered in El Salvador, Guatemala and Belize. The Chiapas Giant Musk Turtle are much larger than other musk turtles with a much a heavier built. They can attain a carapace length of 10 inches. Females are larger than the male and have a higher shell-height. They have an oval, non-serrated carapace has a set of three distinctive keels or ridges that run across the length of the carapace. The color may vary from shades of brown, black and green. The head is larger in proportion to the body and the tail is thick and heavy in males. On some rare samples of the species the head has orange or yellow spots. The plastron is yellow for all Chiapas Giant Turtles. The plastron is much smaller compared to the complete body of the turtle and is hinged only at one point to the carapace. Females have larger and more evenly distributed plastron. The Chiapas Giant Musk Turtle Habitat The Chiapas Giant Turtle inhabits slow moving freshwater bodies with soft bottoms and plenty of aquatic vegetation. The Staurotypus Salvinii is an aggressive species and can be violent to keepers and to each other during mating. A 25-30 gallon water tank is reccommended for a lone Chiapas Giant Musk Turtle. If you are planning to keep a pair you should go for at least 90 gallon water tank. Theses turtles are excellent swimmers and are very active throughout the day. The larger the water tank the better it would be for the turtles. A few under water fittings, natural or artificial aquatic plants and artificial logs would be good for hiding and exploring. The Chiapas Giant turtles are bottom walkers and soft lining on the bottom of the aquarium would be preferable. The keepers should ensure that the water tank is cleaned at regular intervals and is filled with filtered and non-chlorinated water. The Chiapas Giant mud turtles are fresh water turtles, hence brackish water or water with too much acidic or alkaline pH levels could harm their health. The Staurotypus Salviniilike most musk turtles is not a basking turtle and you would seldom see them in the basking area. However, a basking platform should be fitted with a heating lamp and UVB light. The UVB light is important to help them in Vitamin-D synthesis. The Chiapas Giant turtles are vicious and quite anti-social. They wonÍt share their aquarium with any other turtles or fish. They run to bite anything that enters their aquarium, no matter how small or how large. Keepers are advised to be cautious while handling them. The Chiapas Giant Mud Turtle Diet The Chiapas giant turtles are aggressive carnivores and will consume any flesh food offered. On many occasions even the hatchlings start biting and snapping right out of the egg.They eat anything they can catch. Meat, fish, crayfish, snails, crickets aquatic insects, turtle pellets. They eat like starved little monsters but overfeeding leads to a series of other health hazards and their diet should be controlled.