Named for the bands of yellow streaking the shell, yellow-bellied sliders occur in North America from southeast Virginia through north Florida and Alabama. These turtles can often be seen basking on logs or, in the western part of their range, hauling out onto the banks of rivers, ditches, sloughs, lakes and ponds.
  • Size

    5 to 8 inches
  • Diet

    Omnivorous
  • Range

    North America
  • Habitat

    Rivers, ditches, sloughs, lakes, ponds

Physical Characteristics

  • Bands of yellow streak the carapace, or shell. Most easily visible when animal is wet.
  • Yellow blotch behind the eye. More visible in females and young individuals.
  • The lower jaw of a slider is rounded, whereas it is flat for members of other genera.
  • Common carapace length is 5-8 inches (12.5-20.3 cm) with a maximum size of 11.4 inches (28.9 cm).>

Animal Fact

Yellow-bellied sliders are omnivores, eating a wide variety of plant and animal matter.

Diet / Feeding

  • Omnivorous; diet consists of a wide variety of plant and animal matter.

Range / Habitat

  • Occurs in North America from southeast Virginia through north Florida and Alabama.
  • Found in rivers, ditches, sloughs, lakes and ponds. Will bask on logs or other surfaces protruding from the water. Will haul out on banks in western parts of its range.

Reproduction & Growth

  • Hatchling carapace ranges in length from 0.9-1.1 inches (2.2-3.8 cm). Typically colorful and patterned, but fades with age.
  • Young has smudged, eye-like spots on the marginal, bridge and forepart areas of its plastron, or undershell.

Conservation Status

  • “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List.
  • T. scripta as a whole is listed as one of IUCN’s “100 Worst Invasives.”

Additional Information

  • Fellow subspecies include red-eared, Cumberland and big bend sliders.
  • Hybridization between similar species is not uncommon.

Sources

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