Description: Western Painted Turtles are one of the most popular pet turtles in North America. The Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta) is the most widespread native turtle of North America. It lives in slow-moving fresh waters, from southern Canada to northern Mexico, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The turtle is the only species of the genus Chrysemys, which is part of the pond turtle family Emydidae. Fossils show that the painted turtle existed 15 million years ago. Four regionally based subspecies (the eastern, midland, southern, and western) evolved during the last ice age.
The western painted turtle lives in streams and lakes, similar to the other painted turtles, but also inhabits pasture ponds and roadside pools. It is found as high as 1,800 m (5,900 ft).
The largest subspecies of painted turtles is the western painted turtle (C. p. bellii), which grows up to 10 inches in length when reaching adult stage. Its top shell has a mesh-like pattern of light lines, and the top stripe present in other subspecies is missing or faint. Its bottom shell has a large colored splotch that spreads to the edges (further than the midland) and often has red hues. Western painted turtles are lighter than other types of painted turtles and they tend to have olive colored carapaces ( shells) and larger dark areas on their plastron than midland painted turtles.
Size: About 4.5 inches when purchased and can grow up to about 12 inches in length. Females grow faster than males overall, and must be larger to mature sexually.
Lifespan: In the wild up to 40 years
Behavior & Temperament: Pet owners are urged to provide painted turtles with adequate space and a basking site, and water that is regularly filtered and changed. They do not like to be held by young children and western painted turtles are have a fairly docile personality and prefer to move freely in their environment. As cold-blooded reptiles, the painted turtle regulates its temperature through its environment, notably by basking. All ages bask for warmth and often alongside other species of turtle.
To be active, the turtle must maintain an internal body temperature between 17–23 °C (63–73 °F). The turtle starts its day at sunrise, emerging from the water to bask for several hours. Warmed for activity, it returns to the water to forage. After becoming chilled, the turtle re-emerges for one to two more cycles of basking and feeding. At night, the turtle drops to the bottom of its water body or perches on an underwater object and sleeps.
Care: A temperature gradient should be created so your turtle has temperatures between 70 and 95 degrees to choose from. If temperatures are allowed to drop below 70 degrees, your turtle may become lethargic, not eat well, and start to go into hibernation. Heat can be provided in the form of heat lights or ceramic heat emitters. UVB lighting and supplemental heat lights can be provided to aquatic turtles.
Provide a water area that’s at least four times the size of the turtle, at a depth of at least 1.5 times the turtle’s length. A reasonable sized painted turtle tank would be 36 to 48 inches (91.4 to 121.9 cm) wide and at least 12 inches (30.5 cm) deep. This provides enough swimming room without posing an accidental drowning issue. If the water is too shallow, your turtle may injure itself when diving. If you’re keeping multiple turtles in one enclosure, increase the given dimensions by 25 percent for each additional turtle.
* A general rule of thumb is a minimum of 20 gallons of water for one painted turtle, and an additional 10 gallons for each additional turtle.
Quality water filters are a must for any painted turtle enclosure to keep the water clean, clear, and fresh.
Mating: The painted turtles mate in spring and fall in waters of 50–77 °F. Males start producing sperm in early spring, when they can bask to an internal temperature of 63 °F. Females begin their reproductive cycles in mid-summer, and ovulate the following spring. Nesting is done, by the females only, between late May and mid-July. Females can lay five clutches per year, but two is a normal average but the 30–50% of a population's females that do not produce any clutches in a given year.
Diet: In nature the western painted turtle diet Changs seasonally and consume plants and animals. In early summer, 60% of its diet comprises insects. In late summer, 55% includes plants.
Aquatic turtle pellets are a good staple diet but your turtle should also get some fresh dark leafy vegetables such as romaine, dandelion greens and fresh parsley on a regular basis. They can be placed in the water or clipped to the side of the tank with a suction cup clip sold in the fish department at the pet store. Fresh, chopped apple pieces and freeze dried shrimp can be offered as treats from time to time but should not make up more than 10% of your turtle's diet. Painted turtles will also eat some insects and fish. Fatty fish like goldfish should be avoided but an occasional guppy, cricket, or worm can be offered for variety.
Aside from plants and proteins, your painted turtle will require periodic supplementation with vitamins and calcium. This can be achieved by giving your turtle a calcium block to nibble on and by occasionally feeding it commercially bought turtle pellets.
* Adult turtles should only be fed once every two to three days or so; daily feeding will cause them to become overweight.
* courtesy of Wiki
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- About 2 Weeks
- 0.01 LBS
- 4.50 (in)