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  • Eastern Mud Turtle - Kinosternon subrubrum

Eastern Mud Turtle - Kinosternon subrubrum

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The Kinosternon subrubrum or the Eastern Mud Turtle is a common species of mud turtles endemic to United States. They mostly occur in the eastern states of America from Long Island, New York, Florida and Texas to Illinois and southwestern Indiana. They migrate frequently if the habitat dries up or is no more suited for them. The Eastern Mud turtle is small and grows only up to 4 inches. The carapace can vary from olive to dark brown and in some cases completely black. The carapace is usually rounded, domed, non-serrated and keelless. The juveniles have three keels that disappear with age. The plastron is usually brown or yellowish and big enough to completely cover the underbelly. The plastron hinged at two places and when threatened can completely lock the turtle. In some turtles the plastron can have black patterns. The chin and throat are greyish yellow with streaks and specks of brown all over. The head and limbs are a darker shade of grey. The limbs are small and the head is proportionally bigger. They are highly vulnerable because of their size and are frequently preyed by raccoons and alligators. The Easter Mud Turtle Habitat The Eastern Mud turtle can be found in fresh water, brackish water, swamp, marshes, shallow slow moving streams, ponds, farms and ditches. They are suited for shallow water bodies with soft sandy or muddy bottom with lush aquatic plants. If the temperature rises too much they become less active or choose to dig up the bottom and aestivate in the mud. During the months of winter they hibernate in burrows that are almost 3 feet deep. They are small turtles and the largest is only 4 inches and hobbyists are advised to use 60 gallon water tank for a single Kinosternon subrubrum. For every additional turtle an addition of 20 gallons would be sufficient. You should take care to create a close simulation of their natural habitat. For hatchlings there should be plenty of shallow are and for adults there should be enough depth. They are excellent swimmer and also bottom walkers. The bottom should be lined with play sand, soil and gravels. There should be plenty of underwater artificial or natural plants and fittings to make them feel safe and hidden. A basking platform lined with sand and saw dust should be fitted in the aquarium and a setup of UVB light and a heating lamp should be placed over it. The water should be non-chlorinated and filtered at regular intervals.A submerged water heater air pump and filter are recommended to provide optimum temperature, flowing and clean water. The Eastern Mud turtle is tolerant to brackish water and a little amount of salt mixed in the water wonÍt be bad for them. The Eastern Mud Turtle Diet The Eastern Mud Turtle is an omnivore and devour both flesh and fruit with same interest. They feed on small fish like goldfish, crustaceans, crayfish, mollusks, snails, insects and worms. In captivity you can feed them lettuce, hyacinth and other green leafy vegetable, fruits, chunks of meat and an assortment of worms and insect. You should also give them a dose of calcium and multivitamins mixed with their food once every week.