Yellow Bellied Slider
Trachemys scripta scripta
Yellow-bellied sliders are very common turtles across central and eastern United States. Sliders in general can be found just about anywhere in the world, though they may not be native. They are semi-aquatic, meaning they do not spend all of their time in the water, but it is a majority of their life. They need diverse vegetation and places to bask. Sliders can be seen basking in large numbers together at a water source. The water needs to be somewhat, if not completely, freshwater. They have been found in brackish water, which is an area where fresh and saltwater meet and mix together. Usually these are where rivers flow into the ocean.
Females tend to be larger than males and aren’t considered adults until they are 5-8 years old. Males, on average, are several inches smaller and are mature by 2-5 years old. Their upper shell (the carapace), tends to be a dark green to black and sharp on the edges. The plastron (the lower shell) is a bright yellow, which is what they get their name from. Occasionally, there are black spots or streaks. The skin of the turtle tends to be the color of the carapace with yellow streaking from the face to the chest. They have webbed feet with claws at the end of each finger, as opposed to sea turtles that just have flippers. They are able to walk and run on land as well as being avid swimmers.
Say Hello To Cub Creek's Turtles: Scrappy, Scooby, Slip, and Tavi
Scooby and Scrappy came together in August 2018 as 2 year olds. They love living together in their aquarium and will spend their days basking and swimming around. You can identify which one is which because Scooby is a bit bigger. Slip is a well beloved turtle and has been here at camp for many years, though she has grown a lot! She lives in her own aquarium in the Small Animal Room. She loves interacting with people, but watch out for your fingers! She can mistake them for her favorite food, pinkie mice. Tavi is our smallest slider. We got her back in July of 2015 when she was probably around two years old. She is the shiest of our turtles and prefers to spend her days basking on her rocks.
Yellow Bellied Sliders are native to southeastern United States, specifically from Florida and parts of Virginia.
HABITAT -They live in freshwater or brackish (a mix of fresh and salt water) water.
DIET -As adults, they are omnivorous, and eat more plants. Juveniles will eat invertebrates.
FUN FACT -They can live up to 30 years in the wild, and 40 in captivity.
SOCIAL BEHAVIOR -They are gregarious animals, living in large numbers, and are friendly with humans.
ACTIVITY -They are diurnal, being active when it is warm out.
PREDATORS -They are eaten by large reptiles, birds, mammals, and humans.
SIZE -They can grow up to a foot long and weigh around 7 lb.
RELATIVES -They are related to other sliders, like the red-eared or Cumberland sliders.
CONSERVATION -Sliders are listed as Near Threatened under the IUCN.
Cub Creek Animal Care Information
Housing - Our four sliders live in three different aquariums throughout the ALC. Slip, our largest, lives in his own 80-gallon tank in the Small Animal Room. He has plenty of space to swim around as well as a basking spot. Scooby and Scrappy live together in their own 80-gallon; being smaller, they do not need as much space. Tavi is in his own 50-gallon tank. Both of those tanks are filled with different size rocks and driftwood to create places to explore and bask. We give them all a UV and a heat lamp to ensure they are warm and healthy.
Diet - All our sliders are fed ReptoMin turtle pellets that are specially formulated to ensure the turtles get all the necessary nutrients. These pellets include fish meal, shrimp meal, and a variety of vitamins and minerals to provide them all the nutrition they need. On Tuesdays, Slip gets a pinky mouse as a treat, and they are all fed greens on occasion.
Enrichment - Their aquariums are set up to provide plenty of enrichment every day. In the summer, they are also taken out and handled by the campers which gives them lots of stimulation.