POND SLIDER
 
Trachemys scripta
 




DISTRIBUTION AND HABITAT
It is found in North America, Mexico and Central America.
 
DESCRIPTION
Males are usually larger than females and they have a longer and thicker tail. Males have long claws used at mating. Marking colors in adults varies with the subspecies, usually it is olive green with yellowish-green and green stripes.
 
REPRODUCTION
Males mature sexually at age from 3 to 5 years, and females at age of 5 – 7 years. The mating period is from March to July. Depending from their size, females dig 5 – 10 cm deep pits in the sand and lay from 2 to 30 eggs. Eggs are fertilized after they are laid. In one season females lay eggs up to 3 -5 times, at 12 – 36 days intervals. The eggs hatch after 2 -2.5 month, usually in July – September. If the hatch occurs in late autumn, hatchlings stay in the nest until next spring.
 
DIET
Sliders feed with fish, crayfish, decayed meat, tadpoles, snails, worms, insects and aquatic plants.
 
SOCIAL BEHAVIOR
Pond sliders enjoy basking on rocks or stumps near the water. Pond sliders are often observed in large groups mainly because of their aggregation on limited numbers of basking sites.
 
LONGEVITY
In the wild, they can live up to 42 years.