How Long Do Red Eared Sliders Live?

Turtles and tortoises are known for living long lives in the right conditions. The redeared slider is one of the most common pet turtles and its lifespan fits the general expectation of longevity for turtles. However, if you have a pet redeared slider, be prepared to have a pet for a long time. In captivity, the average lifespan tends to be about 20 years with good care and health. In the wild, they can live up to 70 years!

Image Credit: MrLebies, PixabayProper nutrition is also a very important factor in a turtles lifespan. Fruits: melons, apples, berries, mangos Vegetables: broccoli, squash, carrots, green beans Protein: worms, fish, shrimp

The minimum water depth in the aquarium should be between 10 and 30 inches, depending on the size of the turtle. Maintaining a healthy habitat, feeding them well, and monitoring health conditions are the keys to turtle longevity. Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway.

A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand.

How long do red-eared sliders live as pets?

Red-eared sliders can live a long life in captivity. When cared for correctly, they can easily live longer than 20 years. Red-eared sliders are omnivores.

How long do red-eared sliders live in tanks?

When kept as a pet, a red-eared slider needs a tank that is large enough to provide both water for swimming and an area where it can dry off and enjoy the sun. When cared for properly in the right tank environment, red-eared sliders can live a long time (over 30 years!) and be very entertaining pets.

Why is it illegal to have a red-eared slider?

Since 1975, however, selling baby turtles that are less than 4 inches long has been illegal in the U.S., because some reptiles—red-eared sliders included—can harbor salmonella on their skin.

How old is the oldest red-eared slider?

Mike Conley was about 8 years old when his parents bought him a 49-cent drugstore turtle. Forty years later, Tiger could be the world’s oldest Red-eared Slider. The record had been 37 years, 9 months and 10 days, said Joseph Collins, herpetologist emeritus at the Kansas University Natural History Museum.

The redeared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans), also known commonly as the redeared terrapin, redeared slider turtle, redeared turtle, slider turtle, and water slider turtle, is a subspecies of semiaquatic turtle belonging to the family Emydidae. It is a subspecies of the pond slider (Trachemys scripta). It is the most popular pet turtle in the United States, is also popular as a pet across the rest of the world, and is the most invasive turtle.[2] It is the most commonly traded turtle in the world.[3][4]

The carapace is oval and flattened (especially in the male) and has a weak keel that is more pronounced in the young. Distinguishing the sex of adults is much easier, as the shells of mature males are smaller than those of females.

Males are normally smaller than females, although this parameter is sometimes difficult to apply, as individuals being compared could be of different ages. The redeared slider originated from the area around the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico , in warm climates in the Southeastern United States . In nature, they inhabit areas with a source of still, warm water, such as ponds , lakes , swamps , creeks , streams , or slow-flowing rivers .

Owing to their popularity as pets, redeared sliders have been released or escaped into the wild in many parts of the world. [21][22] In Australia, it is illegal for members of the public to import, keep, trade, or release redeared sliders, as they are regarded as an invasive species [23] see below. [26] Invasive redeared sliders cause negative impacts in the ecosystems they occupy because they have certain advantages over the native populations, such as a lower age at maturity, higher fecundity rates, and larger body size, which gives them a competitive advantage at basking and nesting sites, as well as when exploiting food resources.

[27] They also transmit diseases and displace the other turtle species with which they compete for food and breeding space. Flipping over procedure extending the neck Redeared sliders do not hibernate , but actually brumate ; while they become less active, they do occasionally rise to the surface for food or air. [10] During this time, the turtles enter a state of sopor , during which they do not eat or defecate, they remain nearly motionless, and the frequency of their breathing falls.

During courtship, the male swims around the female and flutters or vibrates the back side of his long claws on and around her face and head, possibly to direct pheromones towards her. Young turtles may carry out the courtship dance before they reach sexual maturity at 5 years of age, but they are unable to mate. After mating, the female spends extra time basking to keep her eggs warm.

This process also permits the laying of fertile eggs the following season, as the sperm can remain viable and available in the female’s body in the absence of mating. During the last weeks of gestation, the female spends less time in the water and smells and scratches at the ground, indicating she is searching for a suitable place to lay her eggs. The yolk sac is vital and provides nourishment while visible, and several days later, it will have been absorbed into the turtle’s belly.

Damage to or inordinate motion of the protruding egg yolk, enough to allow air into the turtle’s body, results in death. If it manages to reach term, the turtle will try to flip over with the yolk sac, which would allow air into the body cavity and cause death. A line of basking redeared sliders faces an inquisitive mallard.Reptiles are asymptomatic (meaning they suffer no adverse side effects) carriers of bacteria of the genus Salmonella .

[40] This has given rise to justifiable concerns given the many instances of infection of humans caused by the handling of turtles, [41] which has led to restrictions in the sale of redeared sliders in the USA. A fine up to $1,001 and/or imprisonment for up to one year is the penalty for those who refuse to comply with a valid final demand for destruction of such turtles or their eggs. [43] As with many other animals and inanimate objects, the risk of Salmonella exposure can be reduced by following basic rules of cleanliness.

Small children must be taught to wash their hands immediately after they finish playing with the turtle, feeding it, or changing its water. Some states have other laws and regulations regarding possession of redeared sliders because they can be an invasive species where they are not native and have been introduced through the pet trade. However, unusual color varieties such as albino and pastel redeared sliders, which are derived from captive breeding, are still allowed for sale.

Redeared slider swimming in an outdoor koi pond In Australia, breeding populations have been found in New South Wales and Queensland, and individual turtles have been found in the wild in Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory, and Western Australia. [46] Because redeared slider turtles eat plants as well as animals, they could also have a negative impact on a range of native aquatic species, including rare frogs. [47] Also, a significant risk exists that redeared slider turtles can transfer diseases and parasites to native reptile species.

A malaria-like parasite was spread to two wild turtle populations in Lane Cove River, Sydney. The Queensland government has invested close to AU$1 million in eradication programs to date. [51] Experts have ranked the species as high priority for management in Australia, and are calling for a national prevention and eradication strategy, including a concerted education and compliance program to stop the illegal trade, possession, and release of slider turtles.

[53] Between August 2018 and June 2019, a team of herpetologists from the NGO “Help Earth” found redeared sliders in the Deepor Beel wildlife sanctuary and Ugratara Devalaya temple pond. [54] Further reports have been made from an unnamed stream, connected to the Tlawng river, on a farm in the Mizoram capital of Aizawl. Within the second volume of the Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles , the popular comic-book heroes were revealed as specimens of the redeared slider.

“Specialization for underwater hearing by the tympanic middle ear of the turtle, Trachemys scripta elegans ” . Published by The Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) a specialist group of the Species Survival Commission (SSC) of the World Conservation Union (IUCN), Updated and reprinted version: November 2004. http://www.issg.org/pdf/publications/worst_100/english_100_worst.pdf , retrieved 2017-05-29 ^ “Redeared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans)” . “Minimizing false-negatives when predicting the potential distribution of an invasive species: a bioclimatic envelope for the redeared slider at global and regional scales” .

^ Capdevila Argelles Laura; ngela Iglesias Garca; Jorge F. Orueta; Bernardo Zilletti (2006). Especies Exticas Invasoras: Diagnstico y bases para la prevencin y el manejo . “Forever Young: Mechanisms of Natural Anoxia Tolerance and Potential Links to Longevity” .

“Investing in conjecture: Eradicating the redeared slider in Queensland” 13th Australasian Vertebrate Pest Conference, Wellington, New Zealand ^ Department of Agriculture and Food (2009). 6/2009″ Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia.Social and economic impacts ^ Center for Disease Control (2007). “Risk assessment models for establishment of exotic vertebrates in Australia and New Zealand” Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre, Canberra.

“Assessment and prioritisation of risk for forty introduced animal species” Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre, Canberra; and Invasive Species Council; 2014; Biosecurity Failures in Australia: Redeared slider turtles; https://invasives.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Biosecurity-failures-redeared-slider-turtles.pdf . “First Record of the Exotic Redeared Slider, Trachemys scripta elegans (Wied 1838)(Emydidae) from Assam, India” . Rachel M. Bowden: “A Modified Yolk Biopsy Technique improves survivorship of turtle eggs”.

611615 ( online copy , p. 216, at Google Books ) Carl H. Ernst, Jeffrey E. Lovich: Turtles of the United States and Canada . 444470 ( online copy , p. 444, at Google Books ) James H. Harding: Amphibians and Reptiles of the Great Lakes Region .

The Redeared slider is a species of turtle found in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Though it is found in various other parts as well, these three countries constitute a major chunk of the total population. Their popularity as pets can be attributed to their long lifespan, with some individuals living for around 70 years.

Red-eared slider

TheThe redeared slider is native to the Southern United States and northern Mexico, but has become established in other places because of pet releases, and has become invasive in many areas where it outcompetes native species. The redeared slider is included in the list of the world’s 100 most invasive species

Name[edit]

The redeared slider gets its name from the small, red stripe around its ears, or where its ears would be, and from its ability to slide quickly off rocks and logs into the water. This species was previously known as Troost’s turtle in honor of an American herpetologist Gerard Troost.

Taxonomy[edit]

The redeared slider belongs to the order Testudines, which contains about 250 turtle species. It is a subspecies of

Description[edit]

The carapace of this species can reach more than 40 cm (16 in) in length, but the typical length ranges from 15 to 20 cm (6 to 8 in).These turtles are poikilotherms, meaning they are unable to regulate their body temperatures independently; they are completely dependent on the temperature of their environment.The shell is divided into the upper or dorsal carapace, and the lower, ventral carapace or plastron.These turtles also have a complete skeletal system, with partially webbed feet that help them to swim and that can be withdrawn inside the carapace along with the head and tail. The red stripe on each side of the head distinguishes the redeared slider from all other North American species and gives this species its name, as the stripe is located behind the eyes, where their (external) ears would be. These stripes may lose their color over time.

Sexual dimorphism[edit]

Some dimorphism exists between males and females.Redeared slider young look practically identical regardless of their sex, making distinguishing them difficult. One useful method, however, is to inspect the markings under their carapace, which fade as the turtles age. Distinguishing the sex of adults is much easier, as the shells of mature males are smaller than those of females.Males have longer claws on their front feet than the females; this helps them to hold onto a female during mating, and is used during courtship displays.

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The redeared slider originated from the area around the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico, in warm climates in the Southeastern United States. Their native areas range from the southeast of Colorado to Virginia and Florida. In nature, they inhabit areas with a source of still, warm water, such as ponds, lakes, swamps, creeks, streams, or slow-flowing rivers. They live in areas of calm water, where they are able to leave the water easily by climbing onto rocks or tree trunks so they can warm up in the sun. Individuals are often found sunbathing in a group or even on top of each other. They also require abundant aquatic plants, as these are the adults’ main food, although they are omnivores.Owing to their popularity as pets, redeared sliders have been released or escaped into the wild in many parts of the world.

Behavior[edit]

Redeared sliders are almost entirely aquatic, but as they are cold-blooded, they leave the water to sunbathe to regulate their temperature.

Hibernation[edit]

Redeared sliders do not hibernate, but actually brumate; while they become less active, they do occasionally rise to the surface for food or air. Brumation can occur to varying degrees. In the wild, redeared sliders brumate over the winter at the bottoms of ponds or shallow lakes. They generally become inactive in October, when temperatures fall below 10 °C (50 °F).During brumation,

Reproduction[edit]

Courtship and mating activities for redeared sliders usually occur between March and July, and take place under water. During courtship, the male swims around the female and flutters or vibrates the back side of his long claws on and around her face and head, possibly to direct pheromones towards her.On occasion, a male may appear to be courting another male, and when kept in captivity may also show this behaviour towards other household pets. Between male turtles, it could be a sign of dominance and may preclude a fight. Young turtles may carry out the courtship dance before they reach sexual maturity at 5 years of age, but they are unable to mate.After mating, the female spends extra time basking to keep her eggs warm.Incubation takes 59 to 112 days.Damage to or inordinate motion of the protruding egg yolk, enough to allow air into the turtle’s body, results in death. This is the main reason for marking the top of turtle eggs if their relocation is required for any reason. An egg turned upside down will eventually terminate the embryo’s growth by the sac smothering the embryo. If it manages to reach term, the turtle will try to flip over with the yolk sac, which would allow air into the body cavity and cause death. The other fatal danger is water getting into the body cavity before the sac is absorbed completely and while the opening has not completely healed yet.The sex of redeared sliders is determined by the incubation temperature during critical phases of the embryos’ development. Only males are produced when eggs are incubated at temperatures of 22–27 °C (72–81 °F), whereas females develop at warmer temperatures.

US state law[edit]

Some states have other laws and regulations regarding possession of redeared sliders because they can be an invasive species where they are not native and have been introduced through the pet trade. Now, it is illegal in Florida to sell any wild-type redeared slider, as they interbreed with the local yellow-bellied slider population,

Invasive status in Australia[edit]

In Australia, breeding populations have been found in New South Wales and Queensland, and individual turtles have been found in the wild in Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory, and Western Australia.Redeared slider turtles are considered a significant threat to native turtle species; they mature more quickly, grow larger, produce more offspring, and are more aggressive.Social and economic costs are also likely to be substantial. The Queensland government has invested close to AU$1 million in eradication programs to date.The actions by state governments have varied considerably to date, ranging from ongoing eradication efforts by the Queensland government to very little action by the government of New South Wales.

Invasive status in India[edit]

Redeared slider turtles are threatening to invade the natural water bodies across Northeast India, which are home to 21 out of 29 vulnerable native Indian species of freshwater turtle.

Lifespan in Natural Habitat

Though a female Redeared slider lays around 20 eggs at a time, large-scale predation by various birds and animals keeps a check on their population in their natural habitat. These eggs hatch after 60 – 80 days, somewhere in late summer or early fall. As the young ones make it to the real world, they have their first face-off with predators. More importantly, their weak immune system makes them susceptible to various diseases, as a result of which a large part of the population dies within a year or two of birth. If they do make it to the third year, their lifespan gets a major boost. Being shy creatures, they slide into the water the moment they are threatened. This is an effective defense mechanism against predators, which contributes to their lifespan.