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Red-eared Slider
  • Native to the Mississippi River waterways

  • Introduced populations worldwide

  • Sold as a pet in stores

Red-eared Slider

Red-eared slider
(Trachemys scripta)

Sliders have a red patch just behind the eye which is a distinct way to identify them.  Their plastron (shell covering the belly) is yellow.   The face and neck are marked with yellow stripes.  They have a smooth, dark carapace (upper shell) which is commonly decorated with darker lines, swirls and patches of white, yellow or red.  They can grow to be about 30 cm long.

Red-eared sliders are in direct competition with our native painted turtles which are a species at risk.  Sliders are more aggressive and more competitive than painted turtles therefore they are a threat to our native species.

Red-eared sliders are the most commonly sold turtle in pet stores.  Turtles are also the most commonly abandoned pets.  Never let your turtle loose.  Return it to the store you bought it from, find it a home with a friend, perhaps a school would take it as a classroom pet.  Check to see if your local SPCA will take it.  See if there is a reptile shelter in your area.  There are many great options if you are no longer able to keep your pets.

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