Painted turtle (Chrysemys picta ssp. And C. Dorsalis)

Well deserving of their typical name, painted turtle are one of the many attractive varieties of pond turtle indigenous to north America. Their selection extends from the Pacific coast to the Atlantic coast and from Canada to northern Mexico, make them among the most widespread species, as well. Inhabiting virtually any slow-moving or still body of freshwater within their selection makes painted turtles among the most commonly encountered turtles, and their vivid coloration renders them one of the most recognizable.

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There space four species of painted turtles: the east painted tortoise (Chrysemys picta picta), the midland painted tortoise (C. P. Marginata), the west painted turtle (C. P. Bellii) and the southerly painted tortoise (C. Dorsalis). Although their aboriginal ranges vary (hence, their common names), your habits and captive treatment requirements are an extremely similar.


Painted tortoise Availability

Painted tortoise breed easily in captivity, and also are commonly produced by hobbyists and turtle farms alike. As with most pleasant species, their breeding season is minimal to spring and also summer, so captive-bred babies are most commonly available from may through September. However, given the significant numbers of babies hatched yearly, they are typically available for most of the year and also prices are very affordable.


Jason Patrick Ross/ShutterstockThere are reports that painted turtles life for as much as 50 year in captivity!

Painted tortoise Size

Besides your attractive coloration, an additional appealing element of painted tortoise is their controllable adult size. Big western painted turtles hardly ever exceed 8 customs in length, and also southern painted turtles are not usually larger 보다 6 inches. Eastern and also midland painted turtles room in between, maxing out at approximately 7 inches. Males carry out not usually acquire quite as big as females, yet their size difference is not significant.


Painted turtle Life Span

Painted turtles have been known to live as lengthy as 50 years in captivity, for this reason they deserve to truly it is in (nearly) lifelong companions. Given suitable diet, housing, and care, you deserve to reasonably suppose a painted tortoise to live for 25 come 30 years.

Painted turtle Housing

Housing for painted turtles can be as sophisticated or as basic as you pick to make it, yet there are some minimal housing requirements that should be addressed. While it would certainly be difficult for most keepers to provide water that is too deep, the depth have to never be less than around twice the broad of the turtle’s shell. A basking area, ~ above which the painted turtle can leave the water completely, finish with a great basking irradiate to assist it thermoregulate, is an absolute must.

An underwater hiding location should be provided, as well, with treatment taken come ensure the the painted tortoise cannot get trapped and also drown. Non-toxic live or plastic plants have the right to be listed for hiding and also to forage among, back painted tortoise will at some point shred any kind of live tree whether castle eat castle or not. Return the painted turtle tank bottom can be left bare, substrate (sand, gravel, etc.) can be supplied for a an ext natural appearance, however choose a fragment size the is either too large to it is in swallowed or so tiny that it will pass easily through your painted turtle’s cradle tract.



Because they are active and able swimmers, painted turtles should be provided with a tank as spacious as possible. At a minimum, a solitary baby or youth painted turtle have to be provided about 10 gallons that water volume. This walk not average a 10-gallon tank, but at the very least a 15- or 20-gallon tank partly filled with 10 gallons the water. Boost the volume of water by 5 gallons because that each added baby turtle. Together the turtle(s) with adulthood and beyond they must be noted with a minimum the 20 gallons of water volume for the very first turtle, with an additional 10 gallons the water volume for each extr turtle.

Painted turtles space adaptable and can it is in housed in virtually any type of suitably sized tank. Share tanks, glass aquariums, plastic totes and also garden ponds have the right to all be appropriate housing for individuals or teams of painted turtles. They have the right to be kept indoors or out, and adequate security from predators as well as escape prevention actions should be listed in either case.

Painted tortoise Lighting and Temperature

If over there is a good dietary resource of vitamin D come metabolize calcium, a UVA/UVB light might not be necessary, but many keepers select to administer such bright anyway. A an excellent heat-emitting light should always be listed over the basking area, and either incandescent or fluorescent lighting have the right to provide added illumination if necessary. Because that turtles maintained outdoors, the sun will of course provide heat and UV rays and no more lighting is necessary.


Temperature gradients need to be provided for the water, approximately air and basking area. Water need to be kept within the selection of 75 come 80 degrees Fahrenheit; ambient air between 80 and also 85 degrees, and the basking area must be kept between 85 and 95 degrees. Bear in mind that temperatures within an aquarium–especially if over there is a hood or cover installed–will probably be different than the temperatures within the neighboring room, so that is crucial to periodically examine the actual temperatures in the tank rather than relying on a basic indoor thermometer/thermostat. Of course, maintaining thermometers within the painted tortoise enclosure will certainly help, too.


Brian Lasenby/ShutterstockWild painted tortoise love come bask in the sun, and also so carry out pet painted turtles. Be sure to administer a dock or miscellaneous else the will enable your pet painted turtle to leaving the water totally to dry off.

Painted turtle Food

Painted turtles space omnivorous, and will accept both animal and also plant issue with equal enthusiasm. In addition to fish, worms and also insects, offer them green, leafy vegetables and aquatic plants such as water lettuce, water hyacinth and also duckweed. In addition to live and natural foods, there is a wide range of commercial tortoise food available on the market, and also most have actually been recipe to administer optimum nutrition because that turtles at all stages that growth. Pay attention to ingredient labels; ns recommend diets with the following: 30- come 40-percent protein; low fat content; vitamin D and also a high calcium-to-phosphorous ratio. I also recommend vitamin and also mineral supplementation.

Painted turtle Health

Provided with suitable housing and diet, painted turtle are energetic and energetic pets. Yet as with any type of animal, illness and condition can influence them. Some indications of health troubles include: swollen or sunken eyes; listing or inability to submerge; gaping or frothing in ~ the mouth, or balloon in the nose; too much basking or refuse to go into the water; i can not qualify or refusal to feed; asymmetrical or irregular growth; evident discoloration or open up wounds ~ above the skin or shell; or any type of other abnormal appearance or behavior. If her painted turtle exhibits any kind of of these problems, veterinary attention is recommended. Be certain to usage a vet that specializes in turtles and also tortoises, or at least reptiles and exotic animals. A perform of reptile vets deserve to be discovered here.

Painted turtle Temperament and also Handling

Although not truly society animals, painted turtles space gregarious and capable the cohabitating through turtles of your own and other species with comparable housing needs. Both sexes are qualified of leading or ar aggression, however as long as adequate an are and hiding locations are provided, this actions is typically not severe sufficient to an outcome in significant injury. Still, if continuous aggression is noted, it may be necessary to carry out a bigger habitat or even completely isolate offending turtles.

Painted turtles space not domesticated pets that grow on human being affection and contact, for this reason they have to not it is in handled other than as a matter of necessity. Despite appearances to the contrary, dealing with is stressful come the painted turtle and subjects the handler to biting and also scratching by the turtle. Occasional taking care of to check a painted turtle for wellness or injuries, and also occasionally relocating painted turtle to alternating containers during cleaning and also maintenance of their major habitat, is acceptable. As always, a thorough hand-washing v soap and also warm water before and also after a tortoise or any related products or equipment has been taken on will assist to prevent any condition transmission in between human and turtle.

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Paul Vander Schouw is one avid turtle hobbyist who maintains about 1,000 turtle representing an ext than 100 types and subspecies. That has successfully bred much more than fifty percent of them.