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Pond Slider Facts, Diet, Habitat

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TAXONOMY

Testudo scripta Schoepff, 1792, location unknown, later designated as Charleston, South Carolina, by Schmidt (1953, 102). Three subspecies are acknowledged.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Red-eared slider, yellow-bellied slider.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

This is a medium-sized (most carapace size 12 in [30 cm]) turtle with a inexperienced carapace, often marked with yellow. The higher and decrease surfaces of the marginals are adorned with a sample of yellow strains. The plastron could also be plain yellow or yellow with a darkish sample, or black in melanistic males. The inexperienced head has a sample of skinny yellow strains. There is a particular purple stripe behind the attention in a single subspecies (Trachemys scripta elegans), and a yellow blotch in one other (Trachemys scripta scripta). The males are smaller than the females and have lengthy claws on the forelimbs.

DISTRIBUTION

This widespread species is discovered from southern Michigan all through the central, southern, and southeastern areas of temperate North America.

HABITAT

Ponds, streams, slow-flowing parts of rivers and estuaries.

BEHAVIOR

Their each day exercise consists of alternately basking to elevate physique temperatures and foraging. Higher physique temperatures facilitate digestion. The dwelling vary could also be intensive and include aquatic habitats that may solely be reached by overland migration. In northern populations the slider turtle hibernates on the backside of the aquatic habitat beneath sheets of ice. Adults and juveniles are sometimes frozen to loss of life when drawdowns or excessive temperatures trigger the pond to freeze strong.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Omnivorous, feeding upon aquatic vegetation, bugs, tadpoles, small fish, and carrion.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

The smaller males change into darker, or melanistic, as they mature. They possess lengthy, skinny claws on their forelimbs which they wave in entrance of the feminine throughout courtship. Several males could courtroom a feminine concurrently. Courtship and mating happen within the autumn and spring, however nesting often happens within the spring and early summer time. Females can retailer sperm of their oviducts for years and don't want to mate yearly. The dimension of the elongate, versatile eggs (1.2–1.7 in [31–43 mm] lengthy and 0.7–1.Zero in [19–26 mm] large) is expounded to the scale of the feminine. Up to 5 clutches of two to 23 eggs are deposited yearly in dry sand, clay, or loamy soil. The feminine moistens the substrate with water carried in an adjunct bladder as she digs. The eggs hatch after 60 to 80 days of incubation beneath discipline situations. Although different environmental components are identified to affect the hatchling intercourse ratio, it's largely associated to the incubation temperature; largely males are produced from 72.5 to 80.6°F (22.5 to 27.0°C), nonetheless at 86°F (30°C) the hatchlings are all feminine. Even in probably the most northern parts of their vary, hatchlings usually overwinter within the nest, the place they're usually uncovered to subzero temperatures.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Listed as Lower Risk/Near Threatened by the IUCN. Sliders are nonetheless fairly frequent. This resilient species is plentiful even in polluted and tremendously disturbed habitats.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

This species is widespread within the pet commerce. Many 1000's of red-eared slider hatchlings are produced by ranching operations in Louisiana every summer time. Introduced populations happen in practically each temperate or tropical nation to which they're exported, and so they could signify a risk to native species.

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