Painted Wood Turtles - Rhinoclemmys pulcherrima manni - Central American Ornate Wood Turtles
Rhinoclemmyspulcherrimamanni or the Central American Ornate Wood Turtle or the Painted Wood turtle as it is more commonly known, is one of the four American species of terrestrial Painted wood turtle. These are the most famous wood turtles in pet trade. As the name suggests they are found in Central America and their range extends from Costa Rica in the north to Nicaragua in the South. The Painted Wood Turtle varies in its color from region to region. Those found in the northern regions around Costa Rica are brilliantly colored. Some specimens are colored in swirls of orange and yellow with a touch of black here and there on the carapace. The plastron might vary from pink to yellow or cream or might be cream with pink coloration. The rest of the body is black with bright orange or yellow stripes. The hatchlings are much more brightly colored and appear as if they have been painted. Though as they grow up the luster gradually decreases yet it is always brighter than most turtle. The Central American Ornate Wood turtle are incredibly beautiful, a manageable size and great as decorative turtles.They are hardy turtles and adaptation is not an issue. They are slightly shy and wonÍt welcome too much handling. Given a place to hide they would hide away from their keepers as much as they possibly can and only come out to eat. The Painted Wood Turtle Habitat The Rhinoclemmyspulcherrimamanniis endemic to fresh water bodies like ponds, lakes, slow moving streams, marshes and swamps. They prefer water bodies around humid forests and heavily wooded landscape. The Central American Painted Wood Turtle is essentially terrestrial and only occasionally enters water. They can be found hiding under piles of dead leaves, crevices of trees or under roots. When threatened they might slide into water to hide. A profusion of plants both inside and outside water is essential for them. The Central American Ornate Wood Turtlecan grow up to 8 inches. For keepers it is advised to keep them in an outdoor garden pond. In case that is not possible a 60 gallon water tank is recommended. For every additional turtle upgrade the water tank by 20 gallons. The water tank should be designed like a vivarium. The substrate can be anything from soil, sand, humus, saw dust or coir. A small water area in a corner is recommended. There should be plenty of real or artificial plants to create a simulation of its natural habitat. The temperature should be regulated around 85 degrees Fahrenheit and the vivarium should be frequently misted. The Painted Wood turtle are not very touch friendly and too much handling can cause stress. The vivarium should be fitted with artificial hiding spots where they would feel safe. The Painted Wood turtle Diet The Painted Wood turtle are omnivores and their feeding habits vary largely according to availability. In captivity you can feed them chopped cucumber, fruits and other vegetables or chunks of meat, chicken liver and an assortment of worms and insects. Once or twice every week you should mix calcium and vitamin supplements with their food.