Slider Turtles

We get calls weekly from owners wanting to surrender slider turtles. Unfortunately, we just don't have the room for any more. We have two small, fenced ponds that allow our sliders to stay safely on our property but also feel like they are free in the wild. We also have our wildlife licenses to take in and keep native and invasive turtles.

Red-eared sliders are an invasive species to North Carolina. They cannot be released into the wild and you must now have a permit to keep them as a pet.
Common Name: Yellow Belly Slider
Scientific Name: Trachemys scripta
Type: Turtle
Diet: Omnivore
Average Life Span: 30 to 40 years
Size: 5 to 12 inches
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern
Current Population Trend: Stable

About the Yellow Belly Slider Turtle

Native to all of eastern North Carolina, among other states. Eastern populations have a yellow spot behind their eye which is the most recognizable characteristic for identification in the field; juvenile turtles have vivid yellow markings. Vertical yellow bands streak the carapace (top of shell), while the plastron (bottom of shell) is primarily yellow. Older turtles tend to lose these patterns and become darker and more difficult to identify. Sliders are also distinguishable from other turtles by their rounded lower jaw; all other groups of turtles have flat jaws. In addition, sliders are often more highly domed than cooters. Sliders range from 5 to 12 inches in carapace length.


Diet:

Juveniles primarily prey on aquatic insects, while adults are primarily herbivorous.


Behavior:

This species is one of the most conspicuous basking turtles throughout its range. They are wary baskers and slide into the water whenever disturbed. These turtles are sometimes found on land, and females are most frequently encountered in spring while they are searching for a nesting site.


Habitat:

Sliders are not very particular about the aquatic habitats they occupy, but prefer rivers, ditches, lakes, and ponds.


Reproduction:

Nesting occurs in late spring or early summer near water. Nests usually contain 4 to 12 eggs, and some hatchlings will overwinter in their nests.


Invasive Species:

Another sub-species, the red-eared slider, is a common aquarium pet. They have been released and become established in areas outside their native range, where they often out compete native turtle species.


Source: Herps of NC