Northern Red Bellied Turtles - Pseudemys Rubriventris - Northern Red Turtles
Pseudemys Rubriventris or the Northern Red turtle aka the Northern Red-bellied turtle is a highly aquatic turtle found in ponds streams and shallow rivers across the complete stretch of the Potomac River and the coastal areas of Maryland and Virginia. It is a medium size turtle that can reach up to 13 inches in in carapace length. The Northern Red-Bellied cooter has a smooth, round, domed shell that might be slightly flattened or concave at the top. The color of the carapace varies from dark brown to black with bright red forked stripes on every scute. The Northern Red turtle gets its name from the bright red plastron. The dark carapace and plastron with shades of bright red gives it an impressive fiery coloration. The neck is slender and has yellow stripes all over its body. The head, neck and claws are all covered in yellow stripes. Bright yellow stripes extend from the snout towards the throat and gives an arrow-head impression. Hatchlings and juveniles have brighter coloration on the carapace and head that fades with age, as they matures. Hatchlings also have an olive or greenish coloration on their carapace. Adult female Northern Red-Bellied turtles are larger than the males and have smaller tails and claws. The Northern Red-Bellied Turtle Habitat The Northern Red Bellied turtle is very shy and prefers deep aquatic environment with soft or muddy bottoms. Mostly found in reservoirs, lakes, marshes, streams and ponds. The Northern red turtles have been spotted in fresh water bodies as well as brackish water. They prefer dense aquatic vegetation. They are highly aquatic and prefer to stay within water or surrounded by water. Unlike many other turtles, the Northern Red-Bellied turtles prefer to bask on small islands of rocks or floating logs and woods. Even on the slightest sense of danger they dive into the depths of water and disappear. When the temperature drops the Pseudemys Rubriventris hibernates in mud at the bottom of the rivers. It is important that a simulation of their natural habitat is provided to the Northern Red-Bellied Turtle. A huge water tank with at least 2-4 feet depth and 90 gallon volume is recommended. Plant as many natural or artificial plants as possible without hampering the flow and filtering of water and hygiene of the water tank. Plants and under water fixtures would give your Northern Red turtle a sense of safety and cover to hide. It is important to avoid stress. An under water filter should be fitted that can filter the entire volume on fixed intervals. An underwater air pump would facilitate the movement of water. A pile of rock or a single rock that rises above the surface of water or a piece of floating log can be used as a basking platform. A UVB light fitted over the basking area along with a heating lamp would take care of its basking needs and habits. The Northern Red-Bellied Turtle Diet The Northern Red-Bellied Turtle is omnivore and eats small mollusks and crustacean and other aquatic invertebrates. The Pseudemys Rubriventris preys on snails, crayfish, tadpoles, crickets and other aquatic insects. The Northern Red turtles in captivity would readily eat commercial turtle pellets and leafy vegetables too.