Yellow Bellied Sliders - Trachemys scripta scripta - Yellow Bellied Sliders Turtles
The Trachemys scripta scripta or the Yellow Bellied Turtle is a semi aquatic subspecies of American pond slider species. Their range extends from Southeastern Virginia to Florida and is the most common turtle in this area. They are medium sized turtles with a brown black carapace. The oval carapace is vividly striped in yellow and orange. The rear end of the carapace is serrated. The skin is dark olive with bright yellow patches on the neck, throat, limbs and tail. While other turtleÍscolor fades with age, the yellow bellied sliders get darker and brighter with age. Right behind the eyes on both sides of its head is a bright red or orange stripe very similar to the Red Eared turtle. The stripe is more prominent in females and baby Yellow Bellied Sliders.These turtles get their name from their distinctly yellow plastron. The plastron has a pattern of dark blotches. Every bony plate of the plastron bears one blotch of black. The male Trachemys scripta scriptais smaller than the females and has a heavier, longer tail and curved claws on front limbs. The Yellow Bellied Slider Turtle Habitat The Yellow Bellied Sliders are endemic to the central and eastern areas of North America. It has been a popular pet turtle in European and American countries for over 60 years and has been bred in captivity worldwide. The endemic species are found in a variety of fresh water bodies that can offer a quiet environment. They inhabit slow moving streams and rivers, swamps, marshes, ditches, ponds and lakes. Like all Slider turtles the Trachemys scripta scripta are also shy and prefer plenty of aquatic vegetation for shelter and cover. They prefer soft muddy bottom and in the months of winter dig up the bottom and hibernate in the mud. The male Yellow Bellied Slider turtles are 5 to 8 inches long and can fit in a 60 gallon aquarium. However the female grow up to 13 inches and need at least 120 gallon water tank. Hatchlings can be kept in smaller 10-15 gallon water tank but the tank volume should be upgraded once they are 3-4 inches long. They are efficient swimmers and a deep aquarium would keep them happy. The water should be regularly filtered and the water temperature should not fall below 72 degrees Fahrenheit. The Yellow Bellied Slider turtles need sufficient basking area to bask and dry them. The basking area should be fitted with a heating lamp and a UVB light and the basking temperature should be in the range of 90 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use a half submerged artificial log or a rock as a basking platform. The Yellow Bellied Slider TurtleDiet The Yellow Bellied Slider is an omnivore with a predominantly herbivore diet. They prefer to eat fresh water algae, hyacinth, aquatic lettuce and other aquatic plants. Young turtles within the age of two years have more carnivorous tendencies. They eat tadpoles, fishes, insects, crayfish and worms to meet their bodyÍs high protein requirement. In captivity you can also feed them commercial turtle pellets. Make sure to schedule their diet and mix calcium powder and vitamins in their meals.