The Chrysemys picta picta or the Eastern Painted turtle is the most abundant and most vividly colored species of turtles found in Nova Scotia. They are found along the eastern coastal states of North America from Nova Scotia to Virginia extending into parts of North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. Isolated species of the Eastern Painted turtles have also been found further off away from coast into Alabama and Pennsylvania. The painted turtles inhabit quiet and peaceful water bodies. These medium sized turtles have a distinctive dark carapace with olive or greenish stripes and lines dividing the scutes. Both the carapace and the plastron have dark black and bright red marking. The flat, oval and smooth carapace is wide at the center. The plastron is hingeless and plain yellow or cream with no pattern. Very rare Eastern Painted turtles have blotches of red or black on the plastron. The head limbs and tail are black with yellow stripes and a pair of characteristic yellow dots at the back of the head. The male Chrysemys picta pictacan grow up to 6 inches while the females can be larger reaching up to 8 inches. The Eastern Painted Turtle Habitat The Eastern painted turtles are endemic to the Atlantic Coastal states of North America. They prefer to live in calm, quiet fresh water bodies like lakes, slow moving streams and rivers, ponds, creeks, swamps and marshes. These are perhaps the only species of turtle found all over the continent. The Eastern painted turtles are highly aquatic and prefer deeper water bodies with plenty of aquatic plantation. Occasionally some of them have been found in lagoons and brackish ponds but they are more tuned for fresh water. In their natural habitat the Chrysemys picta picta can be seen basking on rocks and debris of trees. For a single adult male Eastern Painted Turtle a 75 gallon aquarium is recommended. Females need at least 125 gallon water tank. They are highly aquatic and very efficient swimmers and a large volume of water is essential for good health. The Eastern Painted Turtles are tolerant to a wide range of temperature but the optimum temperature for maximum activity is around 75 degree Fahrenheit. Larger tanks also ensure better filtration and greater hygiene for the marine environment. A piece of artificial log can be used as a basking area or you can pile up rocks, gravel and sand in a corner of the tank. The basking area should be directly under a UVB spectrum light and a heating lamp that keeps the temperature around 85 degrees Fahrenheit. These painted turtles are tough and can be tamedby the keeper pretty soon and it makes them a more favorable option as pets. The Eastern Painted Turtle Diet The Eastern Painted Turtle is omnivore with a stronger inclination towards meat. The juveniles need plenty of protein and would devour anything fleshy. The Chrysemys picta pictaare fond of snails and other smaller mollusks and crustaceans. Tadpoles, small fishes, beetles, crickets and aquatic insects form a major part of their meal. In captivity keepers are advised to provide additional calcium and vitamin supplements mixed with their food.