Florida Pond Slider

Theme area:  Amazonía
Scientific name:  Trachemys scripta elegans
Class:  Reptiles
Continent:  North America
Habitat:  Rivers, marshes, swamps and lakes
Diet:  Omnivore
Weight:  2 kg
Size:  12 -20 cm
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The Florida Pond Slider is a subspecies of semi-aquatic turtle belonging to the Emydidae family. It is native to the southeastern United States and northeastern Mexico, although it is now found in many other parts of the world due to pet trading.

It feeds on prawns, shrimps, small fish, sea fleas, mosquito larvae, pieces of fish or small whole fish, squid, mussels, earthworms, aquatic snails, lettuce leaves, cabbage, dandelions, baby peas, duckweed, etc....

The Florida Pond Slider's shell can reach up to 30 cm in length, although specimens measuring more than 40 cm have been found, but on average they measure 12 to 20 cm. Females tend to be slightly larger than males and live for 20-30 years, with some turtles even living for over 40 years.

This subspecies has become the most widely traded turtle and one of the most popular pets in recent years because, amongst other things, it is relatively easy to care for. Florida Pond Sliders have become an invasive species, as many owners who are no longer able to look after them in their homes believe they are doing a good deed by releasing them into rivers, lakes, parks, etc. This causes native species like the European or Spanish pond turtles to become endangered, as they have been displaced from their feeding and nesting areas by the Florida Pond Slider, even resulting in hybridisation and causing a significant loss of the native wildlife. It is also a very voracious and highly reproductive species, so food stocks are also dwindling.

Conservation Status
Extinct in the wild
Critically endangered
Near threatened
Least concern
Insufficient data
Not evaluated


Florida Pond Sliders are also commonly referred to as Japanese turtles, even though they are not native to Japan. It is thought that they may have been given this name because they have a small horizontal black stripe inside their eye that gives them the appearance of slanting eyes.
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