Red-eared Sliders, which is scientifically known as Trachemys scripta elegans, are also called Pond Slider or Trachemys scripta. These docile creatures got their name from its exclusive red markings around their ears. The “slider” in their name comes from these turtles’ ability to slide off rocks and logs and into the water quickly when they are startled. This freshwater terrapin is native to the Mississippi River Basin of North America.
Features and Characteristics of a Red-Eared Slider
The red-eared slider has features that make it look like a painted turtle. Both are almost of the same size and about the same carapace (top shell) color. However, the carapace of the Red-eared Slider is higher domed than the Western Painted Turtle and is also weakly keeled. Though they do have poor hearing, they are quite sensitive to vibrations. This makes them very easy to know when a threat is nearby, so they would just slide off from where they are and into the water.
Characteristics that most obviously differentiate the Slider from the other are the yellow marginal scutes, a yellow plastron that is covered in dark, blotchy markings, as well as the red earmark located just behind its eyes. This earmark is not always visible in older turtles, however. Its head, neck, and legs are greenish with yellowish stripes. Its olive or brown carapace usually has yellow and black continuous bands and stripes. The plastron or the bottom shell of the slider is yellow with a dark, rounded blotch in each of its scutes.
Both of these turtle species have males that are slightly smaller than their female counterparts. The males also have longer claws on the forefeet. Old specimens, however, may become very dark, with black coloration that may conceal the striped pattern on their skins and shells, especially the males. Mature carapace grows up to a length of 5 to 11 inches or 12.5 to 27.9 cms.
The Red-Eared Slider is one of an Animal Enthusiasts Favorites
Many animal lovers have come to love this unusual creature called the red-eared slider. They have treated the slider as more than just another animal that they can take photos of and admire the rare beauty that it has. Many animal enthusiasts and hobbyists have considered this rare amphibian as their pet mainly for its amicable and docile characteristics. The red-eared slider is a very convenient animal to manage and breed. Many find them easily adaptable to a new environment. Like any other animal, a slider has specific requirements that should be met. If all these needs are provided for the turtle as how it requires, it may even outlive its owner. These sliders can live for decades. One of the oldest of this turtles, Moses, was even reported to be gone missing from a kiddie pool in the yard of an 83-year-old Maryland resident.