Originally from North America, more precisely from the subtropical regions, it is now more and more widespread in the world.
In the natural environment, they are particularly widespread in areas with slow-moving, shallow water courses or in flooded areas most of the year, swampy areas, natural or artificial aquatic basins, ponds and lakes that benefit from a rich micro vegetation. and macrophytes.
During the active period, it is noticed by a favorite tendency of sunshine and rest, which he spends at the top of some rocks, on wooded vegetation, slopes, sandbanks or other higher areas.
Red Eared Turtle’s Food
Carnivore par excellence in the early stages of life, it feeds on aquatic or terrestrial fauna, then becomes at the age of omnivorous adult, feeding on both plant and animal components.
Red Eared Turtle’s Features
It is a medium-sized species, as an adult with a length of 20-25 cm and a weight of 1.5-2 Kg. It is often appreciated as a dwarf species considering that at birth it measures only 3-4 cm and weighs 10g, and in the youth phase it retains relatively small dimensions.
In youth, the color of the outside is very intense, with a dorsal green part, feathered by yellow, green and black lines, which extend to the neck, head and limbs.
On each side of the body, in the posterior area of the eye there is a reddish stain, hence the name of the turtle with red ears. Sometimes a thin, red, more or less intense stripe can be seen on the surface of the head.
As he gets older, the turtle with red ears darkens, reaching maturity to a shade of brown green, with violet reflexes, slightly more pronounced in males.
The yellow lines are less conspicuous and contoured, and the post-ocular areas have a less sensitive red color. As they get older, we can also see a relatively exaggerated growth of claws, which is an indication of age appreciation.
Red Eared Turtle’s Reproduction
Red eared turtles are increasingly sought after by amateurs, exporting from America over 5 million heads annually, especially to Europe and the Far East. Moreover, in some countries they have begun to acclimatise themselves even in the natural environment of adoption.
Often, the mating ritual is quite violent (bites, “runs”, clashes) and can take place over several days. Studies have shown that the specimens reproduce better if, apart from the mating season, they are housed separately, by sex.
The female turtle with red ears reaches sexual maturity around the age of 5-7 years, when her carapace measures about 15-20cm in diameter. A sexually receptive female will usually accept any male.
When the male approaches her, the female will swim towards him and accept his advances, touching his paws in front of his claws. If it is not willing to mate, the female can withdraw from the male or may even attack the bite.
The male reaches his sexual maturity around the age of 3-5 years, when his carapace measures about 10-12cm in diameter. The bridal dance of the male is quite elaborate and interesting to watch. He will swim towards the female and, if the female is receptive, he will begin to vibrate his front paws, “eating” her head and neck with his claws.
Careful! This behavior can be manifested by both sexes, outside the mating season, as an expression of dominance! Returning to the bridal dance, eventually, the male will swim in a circle around the female, bite her neck or “scratch” her carapace with claws.
Sometimes, the female will swim ahead, thus encouraging the male to repeat the bridal dance. When the female is ready for mating it will be left at the bottom and the male will follow it. With the help of his long claws, the male will position himself over the female and will curl his tail around her tail, adopting an almost upright position.
The bridal dance generally lasts 40-45 minutes, and the actual mating itself lasts about 10-15 minutes. If the female is not receptive, separate the pair and try again in 2-3 days.