red-eared slider

Red-eared Slider

Trachemys scripta elegans

CLASS Reptilia | ORDER Chelonia | FAMILY Emydidae

RANGE Native to the Mississippi River Valley, Virginia, from Illinois west to Kansas and Oklahoma and south to the Gulf of Mexico

HABITAT Freshwater ponds and streams

DIET Variety of animal and plant materials including fish, crawfish, tadpoles, snails and plant species

Up to 2 lbs

5 - 11 in

65 - 75 days

2 - 25 eggs

IUCN Status
Least Concern
red-eared slider

Their name comes from the distinctive red marks around the ear, and their ability to slide quickly off rocks and logs into water. As a sociable species, the red-eared slider often climbs atop one another while basking in the sun on a log or rock emerging from the water.

Sliders will sleep at night underwater, usually resting on the bottom or floating on the surface, using their inflated throat as a flotation aid.

red-eared slider

Red-eared sliders must eat their food in water, because they have fixed tongues and water assists swallowing.

New hatchlings break open their egg with an egg tooth, which falls out about an hour after hatching.

red-eared slider

Distribution of the red-eared slider has become worldwide due to the pet trade. It is considered an invasive species in some areas.